Myocardial infarctions—heart attacks—are the leading cause of mortality globally. Plaque in the coronary arteries blocks blood flow to the heart muscle, causing them.
A diet heavy in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and salt may restrict the arteries and increase heart attack risk. Processed meals, fried foods, sugary snacks, and red meat may elevate LDL and reduce HDL, leading to atherosclerosis.
Physical inactivity increases heart disease risk. Lack of exercise may lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, which raise heart attack risk.
Smoking and using tobacco products—including smokeless tobacco—increase heart attack risk. Nicotine and other substances in tobacco products restrict blood arteries, raise blood pressure, and increase blood clot risk.
Moderate alcohol use may assist the heart, but excessive drinking may cause high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and cardiomyopathy.
Long-term stress releases cortisol and adrenaline, which elevate blood pressure and heart disease risk. Overeating, smoking, and drinking may also result from stress.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol need careful treatment. Avoiding treatment or medical advice might greatly raise heart attack risk.