Everyone knows common risks for heart attacks, whether it be high blood pressure, cholesterol, or bad habits like smoking. These sorts of things combine to build up plaque on the walls of arteries, and thats ultimately what causes a heart attack. However, there can be specific triggers in those who are predisposed or at risk for events like this that can shorten the fuse of an already ticking time bomb. For example, excessive time spent in traffic can set off a heart attack. The stress of being stuck bumper to bumper can obviously increase blood pressure, and the higher levels of toxic fumes being expelled during the gridlock certainly dont help. However, there isnt yet a clear cut determination if its one, the other, or both that increase risk.
The pollution unleashed on the environment from vehicles can be a part of why traffic increases risk of heart attack, but its just as big a threat on its own off the highway. All those particles and smog spread, and if youre already vulnerable to heart attacks then you could be part of the nearly 5% of those who suffer them because of pollution alone. While it may not sound like a huge percentage, its worth taking preventative measures because theres no real way to avoid it.
Regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy heart, but if you dont get it enough and then engage in heavier physical activity you may be increasing your chances of having a heart attack. If you do find yourself in a situation where activity like this is necessary its best to warm up first, and take it slowly. Also try to avoid this behavior early in the morning, as the shock to your system from strenuous activity first thing in the morning will also raise your risk.
What may be the most surprising of all the findings is that emotions, even good ones, can cause a heart attack if theyre strong enough. Any strong emotion will increase adrenaline, and therefore the heart rate also will jump and can contribute to a heart attack. However, dont let this sway you into monotony either. More balanced heart rhythms generally result from positive emotions, while irregular ones can come from negative ones. This could possibly be because most people try to avoid or resist negative emotions, which can create more tension in muscles, and constriction of blood vessels.