Medically reviewed by
Dr. Anil Om
McLeod Cardiology Associates
“Articles on Heart Disease facts often start with something like one in three deaths in the United States are due to cardiovascular diseaseor one in every six health care dollars in the US are spent on cardiovascular disease,” says McLeod Cardiologist Dr. Anil Om. “While those are true, many other more intriguing facts are to be found about heart disease. For instance, did you know that only one in four people know the warning signs of a heart attack?”
If you’re wondering about thewarning signs of heart attack, they are:
Here are a few other intriguing heart facts and risk factors that research uncovered:
Half of all Americans have a key heart disease risk factor, including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, too much alcohol or not enough exercise.
A flu shot can cut your risk of not only flu but for one year can cut your risk by one-third of a heart attack, stroke or heart disease.
Poor dental hygiene can be a risk factor for heart disease. Brushing daily isn’t only important for a healthy mouth. Gum disease causes inflammation that can increase fatty deposits in your arteries, leading to heart problems.
Sleep or lack of it has been associated with hardening of the arteries in a 2018 study. After eliminating other risk factors, the study showed that sleeping less than six hours a night or sleeping poorly can put a person in the highest third of people with plaque in their arteries.
Deep forehead wrinkles – more pronounced lines than those typical for a person’s age — predict that a person is more likely to die of heart disease. Said one researcher, “We explored forehead wrinkles as a marker because it’s so simple and visual. “
And finally, owning a cat can reduce your heart risk by one-third, according to a 10-year study. There is no definitive proof of the cause-and-effect of owning a cat and lowering your heart risk. However, it may be that cat owners find their pets soothing and by lowering their anxiety and stress, cats help lower their owner‘s risk of heart disease. The study concluded that cat owners had a 30 percent lower risk of death by heart attack than non-cat owners. [We couldn’t find similar research on dog owners and heart problems.]
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
Despite some of these facts, heart disease is not funny. It’s serious and ignoring heart disease will not make it go away.
Find a Cardiologist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, American Stroke Association, Canadian Heart & Stroke Association, European Society of Cardiology, US Department of Health & Human Services, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention