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Wednesday
Feb232011

Study: Coffee, Sex, Smog All Triggers for Heart Attack

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DIEPENBEEK, Belgium) -- An analysis of data on possible triggers for heart attacks revealed that common indulgences such as coffee, alcohol and sex can set off a heart attack, according to HealthDay.

In the report, to be published Feb. 24 in the online edition of The Lancet, air pollution while stuck in traffic topped the list of heart attack triggers, with researchers finding that 7.4 percent of heart attacks are caused by smog.

The study authors also linked 6.2 percent of heart attacks to physical exertion, 2.7 percent to heavy meal consumption and 2.2 percent to sexual activity.  Drinking coffee and alcohol both account for five percent of heart attacks, respectively.

The researchers noted, however, that any one of these factors alone does not present significant risk of heart attack.  But these factors become more pertinent when spread out over the population.

"Small risks can be highly relevant if they are widely distributed in the population," explained lead researcher Tim S. Nawrot, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Hasselt Centre for Environmental Sciences at Hasselt University in Diepenbeek, Belgium.

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