01/7The importance of assessing your risk of heart disease

In today's world, keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is extremely challenging, which is why heart disease has become one of the number one killers in both men and women.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 17.9 million lives per year.

Heart diseases can include a wide range of conditions including blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease and heart rhythm problems called arrhythmias. Heart valve disease and heart failure are also two of the most common types of heart disease.

While unhealthy diet habits, physical inactivity and certain pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol raise your risk of heart disease, there are some unusual risk factors for heart disease, you may have never heard of.

Also read: From BP to BMI, these 5 numbers determine your heart health

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02/7High altitude can affect your heart disease risk

According to a 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology claimed that those who live at high altitudes (between 457 and 2,297 meters) had a reduced risk of developing heart-disease risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity than those who lived at sea level.

Additionally, there are claims that because there are low levels of oxygen at higher altitudes, people are pushed to use their heart and lungs to their maximum capacity and efficiently.

Also read: Your abdominal pain could mean more than just gas! Possible causes to keep an eye out for

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03/7Watch how many kids you have

As per a study in the journal Circulation, women who get pregnant more than once are at an increased risk of developing heart disease called atrial fibrillation, also known as a-fib. This condition refers to an irregular and often very rapid heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots in the heart, raising the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

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04/7Think vaping is better than smoking? Think again!

Many believe that vaping or smoking an electronic cigarette is less harmful than smoking a real cigarette. If you go by this theory, you must reconsider your stance. According to an editorial in JAMA, e-cigarettes do contain chemicals like formaldehyde and acetone, which are said to affect blood pressure regulation, may cause blood clots, and speed up the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

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05/7Do educational qualifications matter? Probably!

According to a 2016 Australian study published in the International Journal for Equity in Health, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to develop heart disease risk. As per the researchers, getting a good education, spending more time with books influences the person to choose a healthier environment to live in, better jobs and most importantly, it encourages a person to opt for a healthier lifestyle.

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06/7Binge-watching and chilling? Re-consider

OTT platforms have taken over the world, with millions subscribing to different streaming services. It has become the new big thing in the entertainment world and people just cannot get enough of it.

However, while you may think there is no issue in binge-watching and chilling, prolonged physical inactivity associated with streaming back-to-back episodes of your favorite show may increase your risk of heart disease, notes the American Heart Association (AHA).

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07/7Do not ignore forehead wrinkles

According to a preliminary research presented at the 2018 annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology, deeper forehead lines, unsuitable for your age, could indicate a higher risk of heart disease.

Study author Yolande Esquirol, associate professor of occupational health at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in France, said "You can't see or feel risk factors like high cholesterol or hypertension."

"We explored forehead wrinkles as a marker because it's so simple and visual. Just looking at a person's face could sound an alarm, then we could give advice to lower risk," he adds.

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