People generally shy away from the topic of disease and death, but it’s absolutely vital to understand the factors that increase your chance of developing heart disease. To put it simply, the more risk factors your have, the greater the risk of getting a heart attack.
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot suddenly blocks one of the coronary arteries that supplies blood to the heart muscle. Those who have a heart attack nearly always have cardiovascular disease too.
Here, Dr Lim Ing Haan, Interventional Cardiologist at the Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, reveals the 7 key risk factors of developing heart disease and increasing one’s chances of getting a heart attack:
Risk Factor #1: Sex
According to Dr Lim, women tend to ignore heart disease symptoms. And even if they go to the hospital, they might be underinvestigated as women tend to recognise symptoms in a confusing way.
“Instead of having a typical chest pain, for example, women may complain of heartburn instead, resulting in a delay in diagnosis,” Dr Lim says. “This is why if women have a heart attack, they have a higher likelihood of death as compared to men.”
Risk Factor #2: Age
“Women tend to develop heart disease later than men,” says Dr Lim. “While men usually suffer from heart attacks in their 40s, women are more likely to develop heart disease symptoms post-menopause.” However, it’s important that pre-menopausal women don’t take things for granted, to lower the risk of even getting heart disease at all.