New Risk Factors for Heart Disease Explained

Historically speaking, people of a certain age tend to become aware of potential risks to their long-term health. Many people know that obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure put them at risk for heart disease. However, the bigger picture has recently expanded to include potentially sneaky factors that could pose a threat to heart health. We’d like to discuss them here.

Poor Sleep, Blood Pressure, And Arterial Stiffening

The amount of sleep a person gets, as well as the quality of their sleep, has been identified as a contributing factor to heart disease, especially when coinciding with other factors such as obesity. What research has demonstrated is that people who sleep less than seven hours a night tend to have more belly fat and higher blood pressure. These people also tend to have higher levels of stress hormones in their bodies. Metabolism also gets disrupted with too little sleep, which can lead to elevated cholesterol.

Daily Stress, Mental Health, And Heart Problems

In a study published in Psychiatry Research, scientific evidence linked chronically negative states such as anger, stress, loneliness, anxiety, and depression with cardiovascular disease. It may not be that state of mind directly affects heart function but that, when a person generally feels down, they may not be motivated to exercise or eat well, increasing the physical risks of heart disease. Chronic high levels of stress hormone decrease arterial flexibility, also contributing to the risk of cardiac events.

Gum Health And Heart Health

Several studies have identified a link between ongoing gum disease and heart disease risk. Data published in the journal Atherosclerosis pointed to inflammation as the underlying connection between the two. Inflammation caused by bacterial overload in the gums increases systemic inflammation and the biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. Conversely, people who have obtained treatment for gum disease tend to lower systemic inflammation and promote better heart health.

There is value in understanding the ways in which heart health may become compromised. The more we learn about supporting a healthy heart, the more capacity we have to prevent unnecessary disease. If you have questions about cardiac symptoms or risks, we can assist you. Call 516-437-5600 for a consultation or information about cardiac tests available in Richmond Hill, Lake Success, or Forest Hills.

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