Causes Of Coronary Heart Disease

The statistics about heart disease are very sobering for both men and women since the condition is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Almost 13 million people develop the disease and approximately a half million of them will die every year. It is just one of several cardiovascular diseases that also include strokes, high blood pressure, coronary failure, congenital defects, bacterial endocarditis and arrhythmias. There are other health issues as well within the broad scope of cardiovascular problems that are the eventual cause of disabilities and early death among the population at large. Before getting a handle on a prevention or treatment plan, it is necessary to understand the underlying causes of coronary heart disease.

When the arteries harden and become too narrow for a healthy supply of blood to reach the heart, the condition can begin to develop. Most of the fundamental causes of coronary heart disease are attributed to plaque that forms along the walls of arteries. Plaque is a fatty buildup of cholesterol that can accumulate over time. It can build up to the extent that blood flow can be completely cut off in one or more arteries. Statistics about heart disease have shown that men generally experience more heart attacks than women due to excessive plaque accumulation. While plaque is the culprit behind most conditions, there are many causes that stimulate plaque development.

People who understand the risk factors can have some control over how acute their personal risk is for coronary problems. Typical risk factors associated with the causes of coronary heart disease include cholesterol levels, heredity, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, age, gender and amount of physical activity. Cholesterol levels are one the main factors related to coronary problems. The body normally makes cholesterol through its liver function that affects cells and hormones. When a person eats foods high in cholesterol, a more than normal level of LDL develops in the body's system causing plaque to form. Heredity is a very common cause of heart disease which can affect several people in the same family to develop serious health conditions.

Research has shown that if there are immediate family members who developed problems before the age of 55, relatives have a much higher risk as well. Statistics about heart disease have shown that some diseases are more common among racial groups. African Americans have a much higher risk factor than do their white counterparts. Other causes of coronary heart disease are obesity and diabetes. Usually diabetes and obesity are negatives that work together to cause serious stress on the heart. Obesity is generally a factor that can more likely be controlled which in turn, may reduce some diabetic symptoms. In some cases of type II diabetes, it can altogether be eliminated by dieting and exercise. High blood pressure is a serious condition that can cause strokes and heart attacks. "Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee..." (Isaiah 26:3)

A person can develop high blood pressure along with other factors or may simply have high blood pressure without other conditions. This is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease and requires serious attention from medical professionals in order to get it under control. Age is a determining factor and statistics about heart disease has shown that a higher risk of developing the condition grows for men after the age of 45 and for women after the age of 55. While this factor cannot be changed, it can be monitored very carefully in order to detect any early warning signs. Both men and women should receive routine physicals especially at mid-life and beyond to circumvent any developing problem. Gender also affects the likelihood of developing health problems. Men tend to have a higher probability of developing the disease than women throughout most of their lifetimes. Women, however, reach approximately the same likelihood after the age of 65. At this time, both sexes are just as equally at risk for coronary health concerns.

Benefits of physical activity are sometimes taken too lightly by those who may be at risk for certain artery problems. Exercise makes the arteries stronger, burns calories, helps to control diabetes and can help to lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Statistics about heart disease has also shown that people who burn off up to 3, 500 calories a day will typically live longer than those who do no physical activity. Just walking three or four days a week can significantly lower risk factors associated with artery conditions. Other factors that must be carefully considered are smoking, alcohol consumption, synthetic hormones and excessive stress. These are secondary issues that a person has some measure of control as to the use of the products. Stress, of course, is something that can be managed to a degree, but an individual must be committed to making some hard choices for a healthy lifestyle when it becomes an issue.

Coronary Heart Disease Prevention

Major risks for coronary heart disease include some factors which can be altered by personal choices and other natural factors which cannot be changed. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, with one person dying every minute from a heart attack or other related condition. A man has a higher risk level as compared to a woman until she turns 65 at which time women become equally at risk. It is named the 'silent killer' because oftentimes the deterioration of the heart's functions and the accompanying problems are not apparent until an acute episode such as angina or a heart attack occurs. The good news is that coronary heart disease prevention is possible in many cases and applying health information is the first step toward successfully deterring the condition.

Factors that cannot be altered by a person who is concerned about his or her cardiac health include age, sex or heredity. Most people who die of cardiac malfunctions are generally over the age of 65, but men become much more at risk in their mid 40's than do women. Women, however, have a much greater risk of dying a few weeks after a cardiac arrest than do men. The theory is that perhaps women are not as acutely aware of their condition as early as men due to a different symptomology. Also, health professionals point to the fact that a female's heart is smaller in size than a male's and may not be able to endure the strain of an acute cardiac episode as well. Heredity is another important static risk factor that must be taken into account early on in developing a plan for coronary heart disease prevention.

Children of parents who have had cardiac conditions are much more likely to develop the same types of problems. African, Mexican, and Native Americans generally have much higher risks for coronary heart disease than their Caucasian counterparts. Also, some Asian Americans may be at a greater risk than Caucasians. One of the reasons for the racial discrepancy for the condition is the higher statistics of diabetes and obesity. These conditions as well as other secondary risk factors make it much more likely for people within these racial groups to have the problem. That makes it much more important for these groups to attempt to lower other risk factors that can be controlled. Some factors that can be altered by a coronary heart disease prevention plan include obesity, diabetes, use of tobacco products, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lack of exercise.

Obesity is a serious condition that affects over 55% of all Americans and begins to be a problem in many people when they are children. Over 10% of all children are overweight and over 50% of young adults over 20 are obese. Obesity is a national epidemic that is an underlying cause or significant factor in causing many conditions, especially cardiac diseases. There are over 250,000 deaths in the U.S. that are attributed to obesity. Consumer concern about the condition has precipitated 33 billion dollars to be spent on weight-loss products every year. Medical experts believe that if obesity were eliminated, so would a marked incidence of fatal or disabling cardiac problems. Diabetes is another common health condition associated with major risks for coronary heart disease. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

In many cases, type II diabetes is also related to obesity in patients, many of whom develop the condition in later life. Those who effectively deal with obesity may reap the benefits of a lower risk factor for cardiac problems, but may also experience a disappearance of type II diabetes altogether. Dealing with obesity goes hand in hand with diabetic problems to provide extensive coronary heart disease prevention for many people. The best prevention, of course, is to be aware of weight management as a young adult in order to circumvent any possible coronary damage. Smoking is a major contributor to cardiac problems as well as other serious conditions. Studies indicate that half of all women who suffer an attack by 50 years of age will die due to smoking. This activity is a major cause of coronary problems.

High blood pressure is a subtle risk in that this problem often goes undetected for a long time before any medical attention is sought. Research shows that one out of every three Americans suffers high blood pressure. High cholesterol has received a lot of notoriety for its role as one of the serious risks for coronary heart disease. Keeping the 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) low is imperative in reducing the probability of plaque buildup on the walls of arteries. A common sense coronary heart disease prevention activity is regular exercise. The fact is that many people do not receive enough exercise to raise their heart rate and to stimulate healthier functioning of the arteries. There are many health benefits from adding daily exercise to one's schedule. Even though there are some risk factors that cannot be eliminated from an individual's personal history, there are many things that can be done to lessen the risks of coronary disease and to more likely insure a long, health life.

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