[toc]Heart disease or cardiovascular disease includes a number of heart and blood vessel linked ailments that are majorly linked to process of atherosclerosis. The build of plague in arteries during atherosclerosis, clogs them making it difficult for blood to pass through and gradually stop the blood flow, leading to either heart attack or stroke.
Coronary artery disease is the widespread form of heart disease causing 1.2 million heart attacks every year and more than 40% of these sufferers eventually die of heart attack. Hence, it is utmost crucial to know the risk factors for heart disease and take measures to keep them at minimum and save yourself from the vicious circle of heart disease.
Vital Risk Factors Of Heart Diseases
Several risk factors are there for heart diseases, out of which some can be easily controlled and others are the usual changes in growth cycles that cannot be altered. By minimizing the controllable risk factors, one can decrease the risk of acquiring heart disease remarkably.
Risk Factors That Can Be Managed
Smoking cigarettes increases heart disease risk by 2 to 4 times. The nicotine of cigarettes constricts the blood vessels and carbon monoxide formed can damage the inner lining of the blood vessels, making the smokers more prone to arthrosclerosis. Hence, heart attack risks are much more common in smokers as compared to non smokers.
High Cholesterol Levels
High blood cholesterol puts one at risk of plague formation from high amounts of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, referred as bad cholesterol or from low amounts of high density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol, known as good cholesterol.
An individual with high cholesterol should bring down the LDL levels and increase HDL levels to have healthy cholesterol. High blood cholesterol puts one at higher risk for coronary disease, eventually leading to life endangering heart attack or stroke.
High Blood Pressure
Heart workload gets increased under high blood pressure, resulting in stiffed and thickened arteries that find it tedious to take blood to various vital organs of the body. Blood pressure that has been high for prolonged periods puts one at manifold high risk of kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure.
If high blood pressure is compounded with diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking, the risks is increased manifolds more.
Risk of cardiovascular disease increases in individuals suffering from diabetes as high blood sugar levels have to be maintained all throughout. But, by keeping control over other risk factors, this can still be managed by following proper diet and diabetic treatment throughout the life.
Physical inactivity or absence of any exercise routine puts one with laid back lifestyle at risk of heart disease. Human body is like a machine that has to be used optimally for it to function efficiently for long. Inactivity hampers active blood circulation and becomes the root cause of coronary artery disease.
Additionally, poor diet rich in salt and fats contribute more in individual with sedentary lifestyle and those who are on obese side, it is a welcome call for all heart problems as they tend to develop heart disease in absence of all other risk factors too.
Risk Factors That Cannot Be Changed
Men are at higher risk than women, who are at high risk of heart disease after menopause. People with family history of heart disease are genetically at high risk of developing the disease.