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Are Your 20-some​thing Habits Setting You Up for a Heart Attack?

The bad habits that you cultivate in young adulthood can set you up for a heart attack down the road.

Most people in their 20s don't spend a lot of time thinking about cardiac disease, but that might turn out to be a mistake. In fact, the habits that you cultivate in young adulthood may set you up for a heart attack down the road. While you may think you have plenty of time to change your ways, you could be doing serious damage to your system today.

Research suggests that heart disease risk is relatively easy to control, as it is so heavily influenced by lifestyle choices. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are all factors that indicate a person may be at increased risk for cardiac arrest. However, don't assume that because you don't have those conditions yet that you're in the clear. Here are some habits that could be leading you down the road to a heart attack faster than you think:

Heavy drinking: More than one drink per day significantly raises your risk of heart disease.

Obesity: Having an above-normal body mass index (BMI) also elevates your risk. However, it's important to note that you can still experience a cardiac episode even if you are not obese. Don't assume just because you are a normal weight that you are in the clear.

Sedentary lifestyle: Studies have shown that regular exercise dramatically decreases your risk of heart disease, while sitting on the couch or at a computer all day elevates it.

Smoking: Did you know that smoking can damage your heart? The sooner you kick the habit, the better for your body.

Unhealthy diet: A low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein can help keep cholesterol levels in check.

An important step toward mitigating your risk of heart disease is getting regular wellness checks from a young age. Visit one of Kelsey-Seybold's clinics in Houston for topnotch preventive care.