6 unexpected heart attack triggersIf you're ever wondering what causes heart attacks, look no further than your kitchen and your bathroom.
A bacon cheeseburger fetish topped with a couch potato mentality is a surefire recipe for a heart attack. But those obvious bad choices aren't the only things taking a toll on your ticker. Scientists discovering surprising new heart attack causes -- including ones you may unknowingly be exposing yourself to every day. Learn about the new heart attack triggers and eliminate them from your daily routine!
Nonstick and stain-repelling chemicals are convenient, but in terms of health, they might not be worth it. Previously linked to infertility, high cholesterol, and ADHD, a September 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine also shows a connection between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) chemicals and heart disease. Regardless of age, body mass, or the presence of diabetes or other diseases, researchers found that people with the highest PFOA levels in their blood were twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease compared with people with the lowest levels.
Avoid it: If you use nonstick pots, pans, and bakeware, replace them with uncoated stainless steel, made-in-America cast iron, or glass the minute you start seeing chips in the finish. More PFOA avoidance tactics? Stay away from fabrics, furniture, and carpeting advertised as "stain repellent," and eat fast food less -- many fast-food containers contain PFOA-containing grease barriers.
Our warming planet has innumerable impacts on your health, as investigative journalist Linda Marsa documents in her new book Fevered. Among them: heart attacks. Excessive heat leads to the formation of tiny particulates in polluted air, known as PM2.5, and those particles get lodged deep in your lungs. They're so small they evade your body's natural immune defenses and migrate into your bloodstream, where they contribute to the formation of the artery-clogging plaques responsible for heart attacks and stroke.
Avoid it: Start taking fish oil supplements. A study from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences found that regular omega-3 fish oil supplements lowered subjects' susceptibility to the effects of toxic outdoor air pollution.
Triclosan, an antibacterial soap and toothpaste chemical, is a well-known bad actor when it comes to health, thanks to its ties to thyroid disease and its role in creating hard-to-kill, antibiotic-resistant germs. You can now add increased heart disease risk to the dangers of antibacterial soap, thanks to new research suggesting it can damage heart and muscle tissue.
Avoid it: You get virtually no benefit for the risk you take when buying and using antibacterial products, since researchers have proven that washing with regular soap and water works just as well. To avoid triclosan, steer clear of anything advertised as "antibacterial," "antimicrobial," "germ-killing," "odor-free," or "odor-killing." When it comes to personal care products, check the label to make sure triclosan isn't on the ingredients list.
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