How to Avoid Hidden Causes of Heart Attacks

Heart attack (cardiac arrest) can happen to anyone without big warning symptoms. Being aware of hidden causes can prevent or reduce the chances of getting a heart attack Here are seven hidden causes of heart trouble.[1]


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    Avoid dirty-air: follow air health warnings on the news. On high ozone days, don't breathe the extra fumes -- so take it easy. That invisible gas exhaust and smokestack fumes in the sunlight or hot weather -- can kill cardio cells, throw off your heartbeat, and increase the odds for a heart attack, even if you have a normal heart..
    • Exercise indoors on high-ozone days to avoid exhaust-choked city streets.
    • Get out from behind diesel buses and trucks; their tailpipes spew chemicals, tiny particles -- that can inflame lungs and arteries, cause or rupture plaque buildups, thus encouraging blood clots, and also boost blood pressure.
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    Do not stop "daily baby aspirin" (81 mg) on your own -- it thins blood and prevents clots, but stopping is deadly: get medical advise about anticoagulants, and clotting risks. Are you taking low-dose aspirin (like 1/4 of a regular aspirin) for any reason -- then check your supply and get more, if it's low.

    Caution: Stopping aspirin suddenly could triple your odds for dangerous clots within the next week or two. If you've got surgery scheduled, have a careful talk with your doc now about the way and reasons for and against stopping your little aspirin tablets. Taper off as instructed.
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    Get into good internal condition. Anything in your health history (and relatives') showing problems of high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney function is a sign of heart trouble to ask your doctor -- about "trouble in your family tree":
    • Kidneys are a waste-disposal system, but in many adults -- about 1 in 9 (more than 10%) -- these hidden little filters aren't working very well. In time, that triples your chances for heart problems because low kidney function stiffens/hardens your arteries and fires up lots of inflammation.
    • Get checked for high blood pressure, diabetes (which may have only small symptoms), and inherited genes are "hidden", and will all weaken your kidneys, without your noticing (find free screenings at Keep all those under control, urgently.
    • Check delicious foods, vegetables, low fat, lean meats and such that can lower your blood pressure, blood sugar and avoid "bad" genes being triggered by habits (over eating, sugars, carbs and risky fats).
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    Consider your siblings' heart and cardiovascular health as much your own. Having parents with early heart problems will up your chances. But did you know that a brother or sister with heart disease "before age 60 doubles your own odds of heart trouble triggers"? Tell your health profession about this part of your family-tree.
    • Stay healthy (eat whole grains, green veggies, walk, exercise -- and don't smoke. Set a new goal for healthy habits today -- and do it! Get serious about maintaining normal blood pressure, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and inflammation levels.
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    Keep inflammation under control:
    • Inflammation clogs arteries with plaque..
    • Avoid inflammatory foods such as donuts, gravy, fried foods, processed meats, white bread, icings and sugary drinks.
    • Floss, brush and swish: Gum disease fires up internal inflammation, not just in your mouth.
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    Strengthen your marriage and friendships. A bad marriage can lead to emotional and physical troubles. Also, if your "friends" are described as: "with friends like these, who needs enemies" -- they raise heart risk 25%. Break out of your irritating life. Find real friends. Work on improving your marriage (everyone may have to do so at any point). Your blood pressure will drop, your arteries will be cleaner, and, hey-hey-hey, you'll be happier! (Friendships, and long term relationships, "can" help you live longer in better mental shape.)
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    Use your vacation time: Taking regular time off can reduce heart attack risk by a third. Can't swing a getaway right now? Do a "staycation": Fill up the tub or wading pool, turn off the phone, get off the computer, rent your favorite movies, take long walks, do or don't cook, relax, then unwind. Get that laid-back blissful vacation, and easy-feeling. Your heart will love you.


  • Unhidden mirrors tale: Slim down. Diet and exercise and get in better shape.


  • Fat and oversize clothes are not hidden, but overweight is a potent cruel condition and possible killer.
  • Give yourself extra TLC, if you have psoriasis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. The scaly skin of psoriasis, the fatigue of lupus, and the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may seem unrelated to your heart -- but those are all "inflammatory diseases".
    • Psoriasis increases heart disease risk by nearly 80%.
    • Lupus doubles the normal risk (increase 100%).
    • RA raises heart attack chances by 60%.

Sources and Citations

  1. Article is based on -- Docs: Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD

Article Info

Categories: Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure