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As the old adage goes, “as with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it,” — including heart disease. The frighteningly rapid pounding heart, wheezing, and chest pain indicate something is amiss, with our blood vessels interfering with the body’s blood supply. While we all know the effects of smoking, red meat, and excess alcohol have on our heart’s health, there are little-known things that can make a big difference in our ability to live a heart healthy lifestyle. 

In its effort to reduce rate of heart disease by 20 percent by 2020, The American Heart Association breaks these surprising daily habits that surely debilitate your heart.

1. Bad Temper

The huffing and puffing from a heated argument can take a toll on your health, especially your heart. Chronic bouts of rage or intense anger can actually raise your risk of heart disease, affecting your blood pressure and even disturbing the electrical impulses of the heart. 

A 2000 study published in the journal Circulation found that among 13,000 middle-aged participants with normal blood pressure, those who were the angriest had almost twice the risk of coronary artery disease and three times the risk of heart attack when compared to those who showed the least anger. The researchers noted anger, along with anxiety, and other negative emotions can harm heart health by increasing blood pressure and interfering with the electrical impulses of the heart, which may lead to atherosclerosis, fat buildup in the arteries.

2. Keeping Excess Weight

An extra-large body needs an extra-large amount of blood. When you gain weight, your heart has to pump more blood than it did before. Instead of beating more often, the heart grows slightly larger so it can move more blood with each beat. It’s like a faucet that’s been opened up a notch. The increased flow often leads to high blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart disease.

Even if your blood pressure doesn’t climb, your heart can suffer from the extra workload. When the chambers of the heart grow larger, they slowly lose some of their squeezing power. Eventually, they may not be able to completely empty themselves with each beat. As blood starts pooling in your heart, you can develop congestive heart failure.

3. Not Flossing

Skipping out on flossing may seem like a dental misdemeanour, but it can wreak havoc on your heart health. Not flossing leads to buildup of bacteria in the gums, and this buildup can trigger gum disease and inflammation throughout your entire body, including the heart. Matthew Nejad and Kyle Stanley, dentists at Helm | Nejad | Stanley Dentistry in Beverly Hills, CA., told Medical Daily in an email:  “You are putting yourself at a higher risk of periodontal disease by not flossing because you are not getting all of the food and bacteria between your teeth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. These bacteria cause inflammation which can ultimately result in complications such as the arterial narrowing that contributes to heart attacks.”

Patients with a history of irregular heartbeat, heart murmur, or such are recommended to consult their general physician or cardiologist prior to dental procedures even as simple as teeth cleaning, said Dr. Fran Walfish, psychotherapist  Many doctors recommend these patients take antibiotics prior to dental work in order to prevent infection.

4. Snoring

Snoring at night is not only an annoyance but also a sign of serious health problems, like obstructive sleep apnea, which can increase your risk of heart disease. When a snorer repeatedly stops breathing for brief moments, it can lead to cardiovascular problems. 

According to the American Heart Association, when a person experiences pauses in breathing 5 to 30 times per hour, or more during sleep, these episodes wake the sleeper as they gasp for air, and can lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and heart failure. People susceptible to being overweight or obese are at higher risk for sleep apnea, although slim people can have it too.

 

Source: medicaldaily.com, consumer.healthday.com