Special Report

28 Dangerous Things Experts Link to Heart Disease

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1. Flying

Traveling by air raises risks for people who suffer from heart disease. On flights of more than eight hours, the lower oxygen levels in an aircraft cabin combined with dehydration and sitting down for an extended period of time drive up the risk of blood clot formation. Passing through airport security checkpoints can also affect travelers wearing pacemakers and other medical devices.

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2. Blood type

Among the things people can’t control is blood type and if someone’s blood type is A, B, or AB the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is 15% higher than for someone with blood type O (O-positive is the most common type). Total cholesterol levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels have also been found to be higher in people with blood type A.

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3. Loneliness

Feeling lonely is closely associated with higher mortality in both men and women who have a cardiovascular disease than is actually living alone. Loneliness doubles the risk of premature mortality in women and nearly doubles the risk for men. Both sexes are three times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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4. Height

Another genetically driven risk for heart disease is height. According to a British study of 200,000 people, the risk of heart disease rises by 14% for every 2.5-inches a person is below average height because of genetic link between height and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Men are at greater risk than women.

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5. Lack of Vitamin D

For people who have low levels of vitamin D, raising their level of the nutrient may result in lowering their risk of heart disease. A recent study of nearly 9,500 people showed that people who raised their vitamin D levels were found to have a 33% lower risk of heart attack. They also had a 20% lower risk of suffering heart failure, and a 30% lower risk of dying within a year. Fortunately, vitamin D supplements are readily available and a little exposure to the sun is also helpful.

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