Check your fingers, guys! They could point to signs of heart disease

Heart risk for men

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's the end of Men's Health Month, so what better way to send it off than with a few reminders about your risk of heart disease?

Here are a few uncommon signs you may want to pay attention to.

A look at the latest statistics from the CDC found that 80% of men don't have a regular doctor and 40% haven't been to the doctor in over a year.

"Men tend to ignore a lot of their symptoms.” Dr. Fadi Saab is a cardiologist at Metro Health University of Michigan Health systems he says when it comes to a healthy heart men are the worst at taking care of it.

"The best one is 'I'm fine. I feel fine and there's not problems,'" Dr. Saab went on to say. "And the answer is always 'you feel fine' until God-forbid you have that one massive heart attack and you're no longer with us."

So in order to grab our guy’s attention we thought we'd focus on a few uncommon signs of heart disease in men:

Bad breath
"It's not necessarily the only the bad breath issue. It's what it signifies. So having germs having gum disease has been associated with having heart disease in a lot of patients." Saab says several studies suggest that the bacteria your mouth from the gum disease can enter the blood stream and attach to fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels which could cause blood clots.

Yawning during exercise 
"That's very important especially in middle aged men or older men," Dr. Saab said. "That means you're not sleeping well at night time."

Frequently yawning during physical actibity could be a sign of sleep apnea which can more than double your risk of a heart attack.

"Sleep apnea is one of those disorders that's been associated with the higher likelihood of heart attack or heart failure if that's a recurrent issue you might want to look into that," Dr. Saab explained.

Light-headedness
According to Dr. Saab, experiencing light-headedness is your body's way of telling you that you don't have enough pressure to maintain normal brain function very well. This means your blood pressure will drop slightly when you stand up and that causes the dizzy feeling.

Saab says if you feel this way several times a week it's a sign you need to talk to your doctor.

No teenage zits
Did you breeze through your teen years without any zits, but suffer from adult acne now? Saab says research shows the chances of getting heart disease is reduced by 33% thanks to high testosterone levels.

"Studies have shown if you have a high testosterone level that your risk of having heart disease is lower," Saab explained. 

Look at your hands
Do you have a short ring finger? Studies found that chances for heart disease increase in men whose ringer finger is shorter than their pointer finger -- and this has something to do with testosterone levels as well.

And while you’re at it check your earlobes too. Any sign of a wrinkle? It's a sign that has long been linked to heart disease.

Saab says there isn’t as much research to back these up but they still play an important role in educating yourself about heart disease risks, "To me these two things point to the importance of knowing your family history maybe genetic testing in some instances."

So stop yawning, check your fingers, ears and breath -- then go make that appointment with your doctor, so you can live a long life with the ones you love.

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