Heart disease is still the number one killer among Americans, according to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention). What makes it so, is that it can be tough to spot, and very often, once the signs become recognizable, it is too late. Many a time, the first symptom is sudden death or a heart attack.
One of the best ways to keep tabs on your heart health is to frequently check your blood's cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Research has also discovered a handful of odd symptoms that might predict heart disease later in life too. On this note however, there is no need to worry if you do experience one of these symptoms. Just consider them to serve as a good reminder to visit your doctor and check your cholesterol levels.
Here are six weird signs that may indicate you could have heart trouble down the road:
1. Bad breath
Bad breath caused by gum disease should be looked into as research stipulated in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that it may indicate heart trouble. Gum disease promotes inflammation, which in turn stokes heart disease. Treating gum disease and keeping you bad breath at bay may lower your risk of heart trouble in the future, more research shows.
2. Yawning during exercise
To this day, despite science's best efforts, yawning remains a mysterious phenomenon. However, one study, conducted by SUNY Albany suggests that a good yawn may help promote blood oxygenation and brain cooling. It is therefore natural to yawn during exercise, especially on hot days. But, non-stop yawning during workouts may indicate that the body's built-in cooling mechanisms aren't working as they should. Research conducted on the matter indicates that a wonky internal AC may suggest a heart or circulatory issue.
3. Feeling light headed when you stand up
Feeling dizzy when you stand up, also known as 'orthostatic hypotension', most of the time lasts just a second or two. But if the light-headedness lasts for a couple of minutes, especially if you are younger than 55, this may suggest an underlying blood flow issue, according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina. The study found that people who experience this kind of prolonged dizziness are 54% more likely to experience heart failure later on in life than those who don't.
4. A wrinkle on your earlobe
Traditional heart disease symptoms are usually diagnosed alongside poor cholesterol scores or diabetes. However, according to a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, one indication of potential heart problems is a diagonal crease in either (or both) earlobes. The distinctive lobe crease is believed to signal arterial blockage and has long been linked with heart trouble - the Penn study is not the first to be conducted on this issue. It is sometimes referred to as Frank's Sign, after the researcher who discovered it.
5. Clear skin during your teens
Having acne in your younger years may be worth the embarrassment in your older years. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that your risk for coronary heart disease drops by 33% if you had suffered from acne. It has been found that higher circulating levels of testosterone during adolescence triggers acne flare-ups. Yet this factor also seems to protect you from heart disease later in life.
6. A stubby ring finger
A series of studies found that if your ring finger is the same length as your index (pointer) finger, you'll likely have a higher risk for heart disease in your 40s and 50s. Longer ring fingers in men is a sign of greater fetal testosterone exposure, which has been associated with lower rates of heart disease. Researchers pointed out that the connection may not be as strong among women. Nevertheless, if your ring finger is noticeably shorter it may be a good idea to keep tabs on your ticker.