3 Unusual Heart Health Risks

Let's talk about keeping your heart health – because good health starts with a strong heartbeat

Did you know that heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the US?

Heart health is the leading cause of death in America. Heart disease is a serious condition that can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other complications. The most common cause of heart disease is atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

There are many risk factors for heart disease. Some of the most common risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure, obesity or being overweight, lack of exercise or physical activity, and diabetes. People who have these risk factors have a higher chance of getting heart disease than people who do not have them.

Besides being one of the leading causes of death in the United States, it is also one of the most preventable. We all know some of the basic precautions we should be taking to prevent heart disease, but how often do we actually practice what we preach?

Most of the time, heart disease is linked to lifestyle choices

Recent studies have shown that more than 70% of heart disease cases are linked to lifestyle choices, smoking being the number one risk factor. I can say from my personal experience, my father smoked for 30 years and he suffered from heart disease the following 20 years.

While some people think that they are invincible, there is no such thing. Good habits need to be developed at an early age to counteract any possible risk factors.

We all know some of the basic precautions we should be taking to prevent heart disease. Just to name a few:

  • Eating healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Watching our stress level
  • Proper dental hygiene
  • Getting enough sleep

Did you know there are some unusual heart health risks that you don’t hear about every day?

Here are 3 that got my interest:

1. Having 4 or more children may put you at risk for heart disease.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that men and women with four or more children had about a 50% higher risk for heart disease than those with just one child. The researchers considered a wide range of factors, including diet, activity levels, waist circumference, smoking status, and others.

The study also found that women who had four or more pregnancies had about a 70% higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who only gave birth once.

According to Dr. Monika Sanghavi MD, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, says multiple pregnancies put extra stress on the body. For this demographic she recommends closely monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-health indicators.

2. Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency increases coronary heart disease risks. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone health. It also helps regulate the immune system and the nervous system.

People with vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and congestive heart failure. 

This is because vitamin D regulates the production of nitric oxide in the body which helps prevent blood vessels from constricting. When there is not enough vitamin D in the body, nitric oxide production decreases and blood vessels constrict which can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).

Even in our sunny California many people are deficient in vitamin D.

Here are few suggestions to improve your vitamin D levels:

   a) Eat foods that are high in vitamin D such as eggs, sardines, etc.

   b) Morning or later in the afternoon go in the sun 15-20 min without sunscreen

   c) Take a good quality vitamin D supplement. BioProtein Technology is one of my favorites

   d) You may also would like to check out Heart & Vascular Health supplement

3. Sleeping position and heart health

It's more important than you think. It turns out that the position you sleep in can have an impact on your heart health. Sleeping on your back is not recommended because it can make the heart work harder and it impairs the flow of blood to that vital organ.

According to this study:

Lying position classification based on ECG waveform and random forest during sleep in healthy people

Hongze Pan, Zhi Xu, Hong Yan, Yue Gao, Zhanghuang Chen, Jinzhong Song, and Yu Zhang

"When subjects were lying on the left side during sleep, due to the effect of gravity on heart, the position of heart changed, for example, turned and rotated, causing changes in the VCG of frontal plane and horizontal plane, which lead to a change in ECG. When lying on the right side, the heart was upheld by the mediastinum, so that the degree of freedom is poor, and the ECG waveform is almost unchanged."

4. BONUS #1: Shoulder problem and heart disease.

This last one doesn’t contribute to heart disease but I thought you may find it very interesting.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found a connection between heart disease risk factors and shoulder problems. “Researchers examined 1,226 laborers like cabinetmakers and air-bag manufacturers, and found that those with the most heart risk factors were almost five times more likely to also have shoulder joint pain or rotator cuff issues compared with those who had no such risk factors.” Read the article

The heart meridian is connected to the subscapularis muscle which is the largest and most powerful muscle of the rotator cuff, and a painful shoulder can be signs of a heart meridian imbalance. Great article on Heart meridian

5. BONUS #2: Oral health and your heart

Unveiling a hidden connection between oral health and heart risks, recent findings indicate that oral bacteria, once confined to the mouth, can journey to arteries and even the brain.

Astonishingly, the American Heart Association suggests that up to 50% of cardiac events may be associated with these oral microbes. Read the whole article

With a healthy heart...The beat goes on

Please check out my friend Peter Wainberg's website. Someone that has been through several heart surgeries, and continues to be an accomplished athlete, he is very passionate when it comes to heart health. Make sure to download his My Heart Health Handbook. 

PS: Did you know that there may be a connection between cholesterol and your body pain?

About the author 

Ani Papazyan BS, CN, LMT, LE

As a Pain Resolution Practitioner, I empower individuals to conquer body pain, reclaim their lives, and embrace personalized wellness based on their unique genetic makeup, offering tailored solutions, self-help techniques, and transformative strategies.

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