Less money, more heart risk?

Health Watch

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Researchers know that diet, genetics, and lifestyle habits can all contribute to heart attack risk. Now, a new study reveals your bank account may also play a role. Ivanhoe explains.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for one out of every four deaths!

“Things like obesity, growing rates of diabetes, and probably other factors that we don’t totally understand … maybe pollution, or other things are raising levels of heart disease in certain populations,” stated Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Now, a new study published in JAMA Cardiology shows your finances may also affect your heart attack risk.

Researchers followed more than 5,500 adults for about 24 years. They found participants whose wealth increased were less likely to develop heart disease. And those whose wealth decreased were more likely to have a heart event. The authors suspect that the decreases in wealth led to more stress, less leisure time, and more unhealthy behaviors, which could have contributed to the link. But here’s the bottom line for everyone …

“Pay attention to your symptoms. If you’re having symptoms, get them checked out,” said Prakash Balan, MD, JD, an interventional cardiologist with UT Health/Memorial Hermann.

Doctors recommend exercise, yoga, and meditation as good ways to cope with stress. A diet rich in veggies, fruits, and whole grains can improve your heart health. Also, keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight in check.

While most research has focused on income or salary and heart risk, this new study examined a person’s complete financial situation, or their “wealth.” Wealth includes a person’s income as well as their assets and debts.

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