Special Report

28 Dangerous Things Experts Link to Heart Disease

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6. Living in a City

Fine particulate matter and higher levels of nitrogen dioxide in city air increase the risk of heart disease by causing a person’s heart to enlarge by 1% to 2%. The heart’s increased size leads to a heart that has to work harder to pump blood and may eventually contribute to heart failure.

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7. Your Job

What you do for a living has an impact on your predilection for heart disease. The rate of heart disease and stroke differs among people who are employed (1.9%), those who don’t have a job but are looking for work (2.5%), and those who are not employed and not seeking work (6.3%). People in blue-collar or service jobs are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Almost 3% of people working in the wholesale industry have had heart disease or stroke.

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8. Race

Heart disease is the second most prevalent (21%) cause of death among Hispanics. Hispanic Americans face more heart disease risk factors than non-Hispanic whites, but they also less likely to have heart disease and less likely to die from heart disease than whites. Among African-American males, the occurrence of heart disease is lower than among white males, but black females have higher rates of heart disease than white females.

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9. Too much exercise

Athletes who compete in endurance sports that require an extreme training regimen may be damaging their hearts and causing problems with their heart rhythms. Repetitive stress at extreme levels may cause physically change the heart by thickening its walls and adding scarring. This can be especially dangerous for people who already have a heart condition.

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10. A virus

Myocarditis is a virus that causes inflammation in the heart muscle and disrupts the heart’s ability to beat properly. One virus that may infect the heart is rubella (German measles) which is associated with miscarriages and other problems with the fetus. Causing a viral heart infection is not common, likely due to vaccination against measles.

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