Surprising Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, implicated in one out of every four deaths annually. The main risk factors for heart disease are well-known: smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, and stress. But research has uncovered several other risk factors that might surprise you.

Noise

We are all used to the noise of modern life — the sounds of traffic, the pings of cell phones, even the hum of the electrical appliances in our homes — they hardly seem worthy of notice. Yet research has shown that every 10-decibel increase in noise in our environment causes a stress reaction that increases our risk of heart disease.

Loneliness

We know that secondhand smoke is a significant risk factor for heart disease, but loneliness is a risk factor of the same magnitude. Feeling alone causes stress and high blood pressure, both of which increase the odds of heart disease and stroke.

Gum Disease

Flossing your teeth is not just of interest to your dentist, it is also of interest to your cardiologist. Research shows that one of the causes of inflamed arteries is bacteria that enters your system through your gums. When you take care of your teeth and gums, you are also taking care of your heart.

The Flu

Recent research has found a surprising association between influenza and heart attacks. A person is six times more likely to have a heart attack in the week after having the flu than they are in the entire year before and after they had the flu. Although researchers are not sure why that is, it is certainly one more reason to make it a priority to get a flu shot every year.

Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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