What can increase your likelihood of experiencing a heart attack?

Published 08 Mar 2016

While they tend to be associated with elderly Australians, heart attacks can happen to anyone, often regardless of age, sex or body type. While there are stories of perfectly healthy individuals experiencing heart attacks, there are a number of different health conditions that can make these events much more likely to happen.

As heart attacks are an extremely common cause of critical illness claims in Australia, it's important to be aware of the various health conditions or other traits that can make them more likely to occur. If you've experienced any of these conditions and believe you may have been the victim of a heart attack, it's important you are compensated fairly.

Are their diseases that increase the risk of a heart attack?

Heart attacks can be brought on by a range of different events, from shock and trauma to ongoing health conditions. One of the most notable causes of these events is coronary heart disease, a condition that clogs the arteries to the heart, subsequently making it harder to sustain a healthy blood flow.

In extreme conditions, such as when the arteries become blocked due to blood clots on plaque build-ups, this can cause a heart attack, as the muscle no longer has access to the oxygen supplied by blood flow.

Can sudden events trigger a heart attack?

For years, dramatic films and television shows have displayed heart attacks as the result of traumatic experiences. Unfortunately, these events can be the catalyst for heart attacks and are difficult to prepare for or guard against.

While the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute notes that this a significantly less common form of heart attacks, a coronary artery spasm is still a very real danger for a number of Australians. The institute gives a range of possible causes for coronary artery spasms. These include the consumption of certain drugs, significant emotional distress or regular smoking.

What are the warning signs?

The Heart Foundation of Australia noted that while there are some universal warning signs that someone may be having a heart attack, these aren't always consistent and can vary, making the process significantly more stressful.

Some of the more common varieties of symptoms include "pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness" in a number of different body parts such as the neck, shoulders or chest. On top of this, nausea and dizziness can also be an indicator.

To find out more about applying for a critical illness claim, contact Gerard Malouf and Partners.

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