World Heart Day 2020: Heart ailments happen to be one of the most common burdens of disease in India. Cardiovascular disease is one of the top killers not just in the country but in the entire world, as per the latest estimates. The raging pandemic has made the situation even worse, and this is the time to take more care of the heart. While we are pretty much aware of the common risk factors of heart ailments like unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, smoking, hypertension and more, certain unusual aspects may hurt the heart. Due to our lack of awareness about these unnatural causes, we tend to ignore them. As we observe the World Heart Day on September 29, we must look into these odd risk factors that may affect our heart.
Dr Sreekanth B Shetty, Senior Consultant and Head of Interventional Cardiology, Sakra World Hospital, shares different risk factors affecting heart diseases.
- Menstruation and complications in the reproductive organs: It has been observed that women with advanced onset of menstruation and early menopause are at a greater chance of developing heart conditions. Those who get their first period before 12 or stop having a period before they are 47 are likely to have a stroke or any other heart disease. Also, a woman's risk of heart complication increases if she has had a miscarriage or ovaries and uterus removed.
- Loneliness: Amid the raging pandemic, as we have been compelled to stay indoors, the concern of loneliness has increased manifold. It not only changes our thoughts but also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, as much as passive smoking does, reveals a study. Being unhappy and feeling alone are linked to high blood pressure and other triggers of stress, thereby increasing the chance of developing heart complications.
- Migraine: Several studies have found that those suffering from migraine may have a higher risk of suffering from a stroke, chest pain and heart attacks. Those with migraine and a family history of heart disease may be extra cautious about taking medicines called triptans for migraine as they are known to narrow blood vessels and increase the risk of heart ailments.
- Prolonged working hours: Those spending long hours at work may have a greater risk of suffering from heart disease. People spending 55 hours per week at work are more prone to develop cardiac issues compared to those who work for 35 to 40 hours. This could be because of more stress, staying physically inactive for a prolonged period and more.
- Noise: It could be the volume of the humming of a refrigerator or a friendly chat or traffic noise, any noise starting at around 50 decibels can increase the likelihood of a stroke or a heart attack. Studies show that for each 10-decibel rise in noise, the risk of heart failure goes up. It is closely linked to the way the body reacts to noise-induced stress.
- Gum disease: Gum disease may also be indicative of eventual heart conditions. Why? Because bacteria from the mouth, including periodontal disease, may enter the blood and cause inflammation in the lining of the arteries, which can result in atherosclerosis or fatty build-up in the arteries.
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