Heart disease is a severe problem in America. 1 in 4 deaths is due to heart disease. While it’s pretty well known that exercise and a good diet keep your heart healthy, there are some causes of heart disease you may not know about.

5 Causes of Heart Disease You May Not Know About

5 Causes of Heart Disease You May Not Know About


1. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea puts a tremendous amount of stress on your heart. People who have sleep apnea can also have high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), and pulmonary hypertension.

Sleep apnea symptoms are daytime sleepiness, memory problems, and irritability.

Being overweight and having certain features like having a prominent chin or tongue may cause you to develop sleep apnea.

Premenopausal women are less likely to have sleep apnea than men. Though, postmenopausal women and men share similar risks. Sleep apnea becomes more common with age until you hit 60, then it starts to slop down.

A way to treat sleep apnea is to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night. Though some people don’t like using it. Other treatments are weight loss, oral appliances, nasal decongestants, and surgery.

2. Stress, Anxiety, and Loneliness

Stress is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good for us. While there is such a thing as good stress, most of the time the stress people experience is bad.

It might be hard to believe, but lack of social interaction and positive relationships can be bad for your heart. Lonely people are at a higher risk of heart disease and depression.

The American Heart Association says that it’s still unknown how stress plays a role in heart disease.

3. Sitting All Day

You know exercise is good for you, but did you know that sitting all day can increase your chance of developing heart disease?

A 2014 study showed how an unmoving lifestyle affected blood pressure. They found that sitting all day can increase blood pressure. Even if you exercise an hour a day, sitting all day can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

4. The Flu

The flu is already bad enough, but now it can increase the risk of heart problems. This is due to the inflammation the flu causes. The illness has been connected to heart trouble between October and February of every year.

One 2016 study found that people who had the flu were 6 times more likely to have a heart attack within the first 7 days of their condition being confirmed with testing.

Just another reason to get a flu shot.

5. Dental Disease

You may not realize how important your dental health can be to your overall health. Mouth issues like cavities and gum disease can create chronic inflammation. Inflammation can speed up the hardening of the arteries, which cause the risks of heart problems to go up dramatically.

Though with good brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist, you should be all set.

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