- To hate your boss
This is not a joke. Detesting your boss can affect your cardiovascular health.
A bad relationship with his workplace hierarchy increases the risk of heart attack in 40% of people, according to a ten-year Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal.
“Heart attacks can be triggered by significant stress at work,” says Vijay Kumar, a cardiologist at the Health Heart Institute in Orlando, USA. Combined with other factors such as lack of sleep and poor diet, the risk of coronary heart disease increases even more.
- Poor dental hygiene
Our teeth and our heart are more connected than we think. Several studies have shown that people with poor oral health have higher rates of cardiovascular problems.
Bleeding or inflammation of the gums allows the bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream. There they can help form fat plaques in the arteries. They can also cause the liver to produce certain proteins at high levels, which ignites the blood vessels. The inflammation could eventually cause a heart attack or stroke.
The solution ? Regularly use dental floss and do not miss your visits to the dentist.
- A traumatic event
A sudden trauma, like a death in the family, can literally break your heart. According to the American Menopause Society, the blood vessels of women who have experienced three or more traumatic events in their lives are more fragile than those of women who have not experienced the same thing. Cardiologist Jackie Eubany says a high level of stress can cause a significant increase in adrenaline production. This speeds up the heart rate and raises blood pressure.
- Feeling alone
Another article published in the British Medical Journal shows that people with low social connections are 29% more likely to have heart disease and 32% more likely to have a heart attack. One of the reasons is that loneliness can be stressful and that lonely people have no one to help them regulate their emotions. A study from Oxford University published in 2014 tracked over 700,000 women out of eight years. She found that people living with a partner were 28% less likely to die of ischemic cardiomyopathy than women living alone.
According to the American Heart Association, 33% of heart attack patients in the United States could have suffered from depression.
Experts believe that people with mental health problems may feel too overwhelmed to make healthy decisions. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health in New York, says that eating habits like eating a healthy diet or limiting alcohol use could be difficult for people with depression. “People who go through bad times are looking for something that will bring them comfort, they do not wonder if they are healthy or not,” says the doctor.
Women are much more prone to heart attacks in the years following menopause.
This could be linked to a reduction of estrogen, a natural hormone, in their body. Estrogen is thought to have a positive effect on the inner walls of the arteries, helping to keep the blood vessels flexible. Cardiologist Jackie Eubany adds that age makes the blood vessels stiffer, which increases blood pressure. However, good nutrition and regular exercise can help counterbalance these effects.
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