Why do heart attacks happen to many people when they get to be middle aged? We hear about heart health and risk factors in the news all the time. For some of us, heart attacks hit closer to home. Maybe you heard of an employee at work on a leave of absence because of a heart attack. Maybe even a family member suffers from heart problems. Or maybe even you are at risk for heart attacks yourself. The fist step to preventing a heart attack is to educate yourself and learn what causes them in the first place. That way, you can take preventative measures to make sure they don’t happen to you.
So what actually does it mean when a heart has an attack? The heart needs oxygen to function, if an artery becomes clogged, that section of the heart isn’t getting the oxygen it needs and a heart attack results. If that section goes long enough without getting blood, the cells will begin to die.
The main factor that causes the heart condition is coronary artery disease. This is when the coronary arteries have an excessive amount of plaque that has build up over time, and this results in the artery hardening and the pathway for blood becomes narrower. This is a very serious condition because then a small blood clot can completely stop the flow of blood through the artery to the heart.
There are many lifestyle choices that can affect your risk for heart problems, some of these include:
Smoking: Long term smoking can cause problems with the lungs. When the lungs don’t work properly, less oxygen is able to get into the bloodstream
Obesity: Excessive amounts in the body are not good as they put extra strain on the heart and make it work harder in order to pump blood throughout the body.
High cholesterol: Cholesterol contributes to the buildup in arteries, which can directly lead to a blockage to the heart and cause a heart attack.