US Toll Free Call/Text:
+1(888) 866-7566
Int. No Call/Text:
+1(718) 301-8411

Are You Aware Of The Common Risk Factors For Heart Attack

Photo of author

Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in America. Research suggests that more than one million people in the United States have heart attacks each year. 

The heart is the most critical organ in the body that keeps us alive. Like any other muscle in the body, the heart muscle also requires oxygen-rich blood to survive and keep functioning. Coronary arteries are the main arteries responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart. 

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked, and the heart becomes unable to get oxygen. Usually, the supply of blood to the heart becomes blocked due to the buildup of plaque or fatty tissue on the walls of arteries. When the blood cells stick over the damaged parts, it forms a blood clot that blocks the blood flow to the heart muscle. 

What does a heart attack feel like

No two people can have the same signs of a heart attack. The signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary from one person to another. Some of the warning signs of a heart attack that one should keep an eye out for are as follows:-

  • Chest pain
  • Cold sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain in arm, shoulder, or neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling weak and tired

 It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention when such symptoms do occur.

What are the top 6 risk factors for heart disease?

People diagnosed with heart diseases are prone to suffer a heart attack. Though most of the risk factors of heart attack are within the control of an individual, some may prove challenging to manage. One can eliminate the risk of getting a heart attack by controlling the following risk factors.

  • High blood pressure:

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is defined as a condition in which the force of blood against the walls of arteries becomes more elevated than usual. It is considered a significant risk factor for heart disease and heart attack.

High blood pressure causes excess strain on the coronary arteries, due to which they become narrow and thick and lead to the buildup of fat, known as plaque. Over time this plaque hardens and blocks blood flow to heart muscles. High blood pressure is often known as a silent disease because it generally does not trigger any warning signs. But when it remains undiagnosed and uncontrolled, it significantly affects heart health.

  • High cholesterol:

High blood cholesterol is a common cause of heart attack, and it can affect anyone. The blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with the risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. This is because too much cholesterol in the blood builds up in the artery walls.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the blood responsible for various body functions. But at the same, higher than usual blood cholesterol causes problems. Cholesterol is categorized into two categories that are high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein. Having a high level of low-density lipoprotein increases the risk of a heart attack. However, having a high level of high-density lipoprotein decreases the risk of a heart attack.

  • Stress :

It is one factor responsible for the development of many diseases, including heart disease. Stress is defined as a body’s response to physical and psychological demands. When stress becomes prolonged, it starts to affect almost all the body’s functions.

The activation of stress response-related pathways plays a role in triggering heart attack symptoms. Also, stress causes the release of multiple hormones that can damage the lining of arteries. This damage leads to the platelet in the blood adhering to the injured walls to promote the healing process. Unfortunately, the healing process leads to the thickening of arterial walls and blockage.

  • Diabetes:

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from problems with insulin secretion, issues with insulin action, or both. Hyperglycemia is a medical term used to define a high glucose level in the blood. Studies suggest that death from heart disease is two to four times higher in patients with diabetes.

Various mechanisms explain the relationship between diabetes and the risk of a heart attack. One of the mechanisms is uncontrolled or high glucose levels in the blood that cause damage to blood vessels.

Any damage to blood vessels affects the supply of oxygen-rich blood to heart muscles. Also, people with diabetes often have low high-density lipoprotein, indicating an increased risk of heart disease.

  • Smoking:

It ranks among the top causes of various diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, and other illnesses. Smoking, either active or passive, can cause cardiovascular disease through multiple processes such as enhanced oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, autonomic alterations, and inflammation.

Smoking consists of thousands of chemicals, many of which are poisonous. Nicotine is one of the most harmful chemical presents in smoke which causes significant consequences on heart health. Chemicals in the smoke damage the coronary arteries and cause the arteries to become narrow, increasing the risk of blockage, heart attack and coronary artery disease.

  • Obesity:

It imposes a significant burden on healthcare society. Obesity is considered an important risk factor for developing various heart diseases, further resulting in a heart attack. Obesity is defined as a medical condition characterized by a high body mass index and excessive accumulation of fat in the body.

A high body mass index is a risk factor for many illnesses. For example, having excessive fat in the abdomen is considered the most substantial risk factor for heart disease. This is because the accumulation of abdominal fat is accompanied by a high collection of visceral adipose tissue.

In addition, evidence suggests patients having an increased accumulation of visceral adipose tissue are characterized by disturbances in many body functions such as blood cholesterol, glucose level, blood pressure, epithelial function, and many more.  

Also read: 08 Best Ways To Prevent Heart Diseases

How Long Do Heart Attacks Last

When you have a heart attack, the intense pain usually lasts for approximately 15-20 minutes or lasts much longer, depending upon various factors. Heart attack symptoms typically last longer than a few minutes. 

They may disappear and reappear or occur in waves over several hours. The warning signs will appear gradually and produce only a little pain or discomfort in most instances. On the other hand, the symptoms might come on suddenly and with a lot of force.

What Age Group Has the Most Heart Attacks

In the United States, males have their first heart attack at the age of 65, while women have their first heart attack at 72. This is why coronary artery disease is referred to as a senior citizen’s illness. 

However, between 4% and 10% of all heart attacks occur before the age of 45, and the majority of them occur in males. People over the age of 65 make up around 80% of those who die from chronic heart disease.


According to the CDC, an estimated 805,000 individuals in the United States experience a heart attack each year, most of which are first-time heart attacks. While most individuals who have a heart attack survive, it’s necessary to understand how to lower your risk and manage the heart attack symptoms. 

The sooner you seek treatment for a heart attack, the higher your chances of a successful recovery. If you have any risk factors for a heart attack, talk to your doctor to plan out an effective treatment plan to manage the symptoms. Risk factors may include hypertension, heart failure, angina, hypercholesterolemia, etc. Leaving these untreated can cost you a lot. In order to deal with these, the doctors may prescribe you relevant medicines like Enalapril (Enapril), Nifedipine(Nicardia CD), or Atorvastatin(Atorva)

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

We’d Love To help

Reach out to us we will get back to you

Preferable Time