It’s no surprise that heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that just under 650,000 people in this country die from heart disease annually. 

Besides the usual ways to stay heart-healthy – eating right, exercising, keeping your weight under control, etc. – there are some unusual factors that can cause problems. 

Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing is sharing five of these factors that you probably didn’t realize can affect your heart health. 


  • Living at Low Altitude


According to a 2017 study, people living at lower altitudes were shown to have a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, which can be a contributing factor to heart disease. So while many have the goal of living at the beach, perhaps you should be perched in the mountains.


  • Not Flossing


A 2016 report showed that people with a high amount of oral bacteria (people who didn’t brush or even floss regularly) had a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and that condition increases the likelihood of heart disease. 


  • Skipping Breakfast


It’s called the most important meal of the day – and for good reason. A 2013 study found that people who routinely ate breakfast had a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Remember that the next time you’re late and rushing out the door.


  • Excess Alcohol


Having more than the recommended amount of alcohol per day (one drink per day for women and two for men) can put you at risk for heart disease because too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and increase triglycerides. 


  • Working Nights


Your circadian rhythm is designed to be awake during the day and sleep when it’s dark. Research published in 2016 found a link between those routinely working either late or overnights and an increased risk of heart disease.

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