Heart attack risk factors advice by senior cardiologist chennai

Heart Attack Risk Factors

Plaque buildup in the coronary arteries is the most common cause of a heart attack. Over time, plaque builds up, slowing or completely blocking blood flow to the heart muscle. Although there is no single cause for any heart condition, there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing one. It's important to understand that there are some factors you can control and others you can't when determining your risk of having a heart attack. Some factors, such as age, are unchangeable. Others, such as those related to diet and exercise, can be altered.

Heart attack risk factors that cannot be controlled


Simply growing older raises the risk of having damaged and clogged arteries, as well as a weakening or thickening heart muscle, all of which contribute to heart disease. The bulk of heart attack deaths occur in those aged 65 and up, while a man's chance of dying from a heart attack begins at 45 and for women, it starts at 55.


Men have a greater risk of a heart attack but women are more likely to experience subtler heart attack symptoms such as fatigue and nausea - not just chest pain. After menopause, however, women's risk of heart disease rises.


Early problems may be predicted by family history. If your father or brother was diagnosed with coronary heart disease when they were 55 or younger (65 for your mother or sister), see a doctor.

Controllable risk factors

Smoking & Excess alcohol intake

Smokers have a higher risk of heart attacks than nonsmokers. According to the American Heart Association, smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop cardiovascular disease and 2 to 3 times more likely to die from it. Drinking alcohol on a regular basis or in large amounts can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure, and result in a stroke. If you must consume alcohol, do so in moderation.

Poor diet

A diet that's high in fat, salt, and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.

High blood pressure & blood cholesterol

High blood pressure that is uncontrolled can cause your arteries to harden and thicken, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows. High cholesterol levels in the blood can increase the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis. A high level of LDL or a low level of HDL can cause plaques.


Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it's extremely important to work with your doctor to manage your blood glucose levels and reduce other heart attack risk factors.


Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors. Heart disease is more likely in people who have excess body fat. The good news is that losing just 3 to 5% of your current body weight can significantly reduce certain heart disease risk factors if you're overweight or obese. More weight loss can lead to even better results.

Physical inactivity

Many types of heart diseases are associated with a lack of exercise. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise is required to prevent heart and vascular disease. The more vigorous the activity, the greater the benefits to the cardiovascular system. Exercise helps control blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, and has been shown to lower blood pressure. A heart attack is less commonly caused by a severe spasm, or tightening, of a coronary artery.

High stress

Unrelieved stress in your life may damage your arteries as well as worsen other risk factors for heart disease. Everyone is affected by stress. It's part of what it means to be human, to be alive, and to interact with the world. In terms of our health-particularly the risk of heart disease-how we respond to stress matters. If you believe you are suffering from chronic stress, learn some techniques to help you manage your stress response.

Poor hygiene

Heart infections can be caused by not washing your hands regularly or failing to establish other preventative habits, especially if you already have a heart condition.

Medications associated with heart failure

Certain drugs can potentially damage the heart and increase the risk of heart failure. Long-term use of high-dose anabolic steroids (male hormones used to build muscle mass) increases the risk for heart failure. Some cancer and chemotherapy drugs can increase the risk of developing heart failure years after treatment. Cancer radiation therapy to the chest can also damage the heart muscle.

Cardiac Care at Prashanth Hospitals

Prashanth Heart Foundation, the best hospital for heart surgery in Chennai, is equipped with a 24 x 7 state-of-the-art 3rd generation Cath Lab, EP Lab, and dedicated Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of heart problems with emergency outpatient and inpatient set up. We offer the latest in cardiology techniques, drugs, interventions, and the best cardiac surgeons in Chennai - making us one of the top cardiac hospitals in India.