12 Heart Attack Risk Factors You Can’t Ignore [Infographic]

February 09, 2018 1:00 PM

What causes a heart attack? Know the related culprits that could increase your risk.

When assessing your risk of having a heart attack, it’s important to know there are factors you can control and others you can’t.

Some, such as age, are fixed. But others related to diet and exercise, among other things, can be modified.

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In either case, it’s important to know the elements that may contribute to a heart attack — which occurs when the arteries that carry oxygen and nutrients to the heart become blocked, severely limiting or cutting off blood supply.

Knowing and addressing these risk factors is crucial: About 790,000 Americans experience a heart attack each year (roughly one every 40 seconds), the American Heart Association says.

Of that total, 114,000 will die. That’s part of the 800,000 annual deaths tied to cardiovascular disease — which claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Get to know these common heart attack culprits to keep your ticker in top shape.

Heart attack risk factors you cannot control:

Some risk factors of a heart attack, like age, gender and genetics, cannot be controlled

Heart attack risk factors you can control:

Find out nine heart attack risk factors you can control and how to control them