Unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are not the only ones that can put your heart in danger. You may not realize it, but there are lots of seemingly harmless habits and less obvious things that can hurt this vital organ and increase your risk of heart disease.

Cardiology centers in Castle Dale share the surprising things that can sabotage your heart health.

Gum Disease

Studies suggest that those with gum disease have an increased risk of having a stroke, heart attack or any serious cardiovascular event. The link may not be completely clear, but it’s believed that the bacteria from the gums may get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the blood vessels, which is a major indicator of cardiovascular disease.

This only makes it important to brush at least twice a day and floss once daily. Also, be sure to schedule a dental appointment every six months, and see your dentist right away if you notice inflammation or soreness in your gums.

Snoring

Regularly snoring while dozing off could be an indicator of a serious condition called sleep apnea. Those with this condition stop breathing multiple times during sleep. Sleep apnea is known to increase your risk of certain diseases such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, hypertension and other heart problems.

If you know you snore or if your partner says you do, it’s best to see a sleep specialist to learn more about your condition and the treatments that can assist you in breathing easier.

man clenching his chest in pain

Working at Night Shift (Or Irregular Hours)

Night duties, according to a study done among nurses, are said to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. This is especially true for those who work at irregular shifts for long periods. Night shift also disrupts your body’s internal clock, which is known to have negative effects on both the brain and body.

If you don’t work at normal hours, engage in healthy lifestyle habits to lower your risk of heart disease. These include eating a balanced diet, exercising most days of the week and getting enough sleep daily. Don’t forget to see a physician for your regular checkups.

Loneliness/Depression

Being lonely or depressed, studies suggest, harms the heart and is a predictor of premature death. According to research, both loneliness and social isolation are associated with stroke and coronary heart disease. It’s also noted that people who feel lonely are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as lower quality of life.

Spending more time with friends and loved ones is a great way to ward off loneliness. Other things that can help include:

  • Volunteering or helping someone in need
  • Adopting a cat or a dog
  • Reaching out to others
  • Developing a meditation practice
  • Signing up for any class (yoga, cooking or foreign language)
  • Seeking professional help
  • Using social media wisely
  • Finding a new hobby

Don’t let bad and seemingly harmless habits put your heart health at risk. Take extra steps to protect your ticker by making positive changes and finding out the things you can do to manage your risk factors for heart disease.

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