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Everyone has heard about heart disease before, often through commercials about how certain things increase your risk of suffering from this disease. However, there may be a few things you do not know about this serious health condition. To help inform you, here are eight facts about heart disease.

Eight Facts About Heart Disease

An Umbrella Term

Heart disease does not refer to one condition, but rather a range of them. Specifically, conditions that affect your heart’s rhythm, valves, or muscle. In addition, some use the terms heart disease and cardiovascular disease interchangeably. Cardiovascular disease refers to narrowed or even blocked blood vessels, which often lead to angina (most commonly seen as chest pain), a stroke, or a heart attack. 

Number One Cause of Death

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. In fact, it is responsible for roughly one in every four deaths a year. Out of the different types of heart disease, reports also indicate that coronary heart disease, which killed 325,000 Americans in 2014, is the most common.

Sleep Matters

Sometimes life can get busy, but it is important to know the amount of sleep you get every night affects your risk of suffering from heart disease. It is unclear as to why, but the less sleep >you get, the higher your risk, regardless of other factors like age and weight. One study indicates that adults over 45 who slept less than six hours each night doubled their risk of heart disease compared to those who slept between six and eight hours.

Laughter Medicine

As you likely know, stress constricts your blood vessels, making it harder to pump blood throughout the body. This increases the chances of a heart attack, as well as other types of heart disease. On the other hand, laughing relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces your chances of suffering a heart attack, stroke, et cetera.

Watch Out For the Morning

The most common time for a heart attack is during the morning, specifically between 6:00am and noon. Not only that, but during this time, heart attacks are also deadlier, owing to factors such as the concentrations of CK (creatine kinase) and TnI (troponin-I).

Smoking Increases Your Risk 

The chemicals that enter your body when you smoke, or when you are exposed to smoking secondhand, damage your heart and arteries. That increases your risk of suffering from heart disease, in addition to other health issues.

Different Symptoms in Women

The most well-known symptom of a heart attack, particularly in men, is crushing chest pain. However, many are unaware that symptoms in women have a wider range. These symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abnormal fatigue, shortness of breath, and pain in the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back, or abdomen.

Dental Health Relation

Your oral hygiene is an important element of your overall health and wellbeing. There is no direct link between dental health and heart disease, but it can still act as a warning sign for some, according to this article. Specifically, periodontitis and heart disease share a number of risk factors, though as stated, there is no proven causation between the two.

If you have an ongoing issue with your heart, consider purchasing an EmergencyID bracelet, so that in an emergency, first responders are aware of your condition and can better treat you. That extra time can be a huge factor in saving your life.

Image: flynt / 123RF Stock Photo
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