Factors that place a person at an increased risk for a heart attack are:
Being overweight or obese
Eating a diet that is high in fat
Having elevated blood cholesterol levels
Having a low dietary fibre intake
Eating too much salt
High blood pressure
WHAT MAY CAUSE A HEART CONDITION?
An unhealthy diet that is high in fat tends to elevate blood cholesterol levels, leading to increased risk of a heart attack. If blood cholesterol is too high it begins settle on the inside walls of blood vessels, which become more clogged (plaque formation) making it increasingly difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. It is the LDL (bad) cholesterol that promotes the build up of fatty plaques on the inside walls of blood vessels. A diet that is high in salt can cause your body to retain more fluid. It is this added fluid that makes your heart work harder increasing your chance of a heart attack.
Overweight and obese individuals are at an increased risk of developing heart failure. Recent studies have shown that people who are overweight have a 34% greater risk of developing heart failure than people who are not overweight; while obese individuals had an 104% increase in risk.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE THE RISK?
An individual can increase their heart health by:
Losing excess body weight (body fat)
Reduce the total amount of fat that you eat each day
Eat foods that are high in fibre (but add to your diet slowly)
Reduce the amount of salt that you consume each day