If you’d like to boost your heart health – and reduce your chances of ending up in the cardiac unit – here are 4 unusual things you should know that can hurt your heart:
Your commute. Cardiologist Dr. Malissa Wood points out that exposure to heavy traffic — and the fumes that come with it — can double your risk of a heart attack. If possible, change your route to and from work. Even if you have to drive out of your way, driving at speed is healthier than sitting in traffic.
The flu. Studies show that the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases by 500% when we have the flu! That’s because the inflammation influenza causes can reduce blood flow enough to trigger a cardiac event. So, protect your heart and get your flu shot!
Psoriasis. Dermatologist Joel Gelfand says that psoriasis isn’t just a skin disease. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic, system-wide inflammation. And in extreme cases, it’s as hard on your heart as diabetes. So, make sure to discuss your treatment options with your doctor.
A rocky relationship. Epidemiologist Dr. Roberto De Vogli says that relationship stress raises your risk of a heart attack by 34%. Why? Because people in bad relationships have higher levels of chronic stress hormones. They’re also more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, like smoking, overeating, and consuming too much alcohol.