Heart Disease is a major cause of death around the globe. Worldwide, more than one million people die due to cardiac diseases each year. While Heart Disease is largely preventable, it is not impossible to succumb to it. The following article outlines some of the risk factors for developing cardiac problems.
High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because almost everyone with hypertension suffers some form of damage to their arteries. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease in two ways. First, by contributing to damage in the walls of blood vessels it can lead to coronary heart disease. Second, increasing a person’s chances of developing a heart attack or stroke through high blood pressure, also increases their risk of developing diabetes.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes: Certain dietary and lifestyle changes may help to prevent heart disease. A diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and protein can lower high blood pressure and may help to prevent heart disease. Reducing cholesterol in the diet may also help to prevent heart disease. The next time you are at the grocery store think carefully before you reach for the sandwich. Sandwich food that is high in fat, sugar, and trans fats is not what a heart-healthy diet should be. Trans fats are found in a variety of foods, including margarine, butter, processed vegetable oil, and hydrogenated oils, to name a few.
Cigarette smoking has been associated with heart attacks, stroke, congestive heart failure, and certain types of cancer. People who smoke have a higher risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) as well as certain types of cancer of the lungs. It is a fact that cigarette smoking is a leading cause of death in the United States. Other contributors to this deadly habit include alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and obesity. If you smoke, you should quit as soon as possible.
Certain lifestyle factors also play a role in heart failure. High blood pressure is known to predispose people to a heart attack. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries. If the arteries are narrowed or clogged with fatty buildup, blood cannot flow through them properly, which can result in a heart attack. High cholesterol is a known heart attack risk factor.
Abnormal heart rhythms are another risk factor that can increase your chances of developing heart disease. An irregular heart rhythm is called arrhythmias. These are usually the result of high blood pressure in the heart or some type of disease or condition. There are many different forms of congenital heart defects that can cause abnormal heart rhythms. These include defective valve, congenital heart disease, and heart disease due to a previous heart attack.
A coronary artery disease is a common form of cardiovascular disease. It is usually the result of a buildup of fatty deposits within the arteries of the heart. The buildup of fat can prevent the arteries from conducting normal blood flow. If the blood vessels are narrowed by too many fat deposits, they will not be able to provide the normal oxygenated blood that is needed to circulate in the body. This can cause a stroke.
When a person develops any form of cardiovascular disease, the symptoms may not appear immediately. Symptoms may occur years later. They may not seem like they are related to the heart at first, but when the symptoms become more severe, it is time to see a doctor. Prevention of this disease can be accomplished by following a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking. Screening for this disease can help reduce the chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.