Dr Ashish Agarwal | 30 Nov 2020 | Heartcare
Heart disease kills more people in the developed world than anything else. Even though it is still leading cause of death it is not as alarming as before. Let us take a look at the risk factors for heart disease and how you can defend them
1. Family history: Family history is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. If one of your parents have heart condition, your risk of having it is higher than normal. If a brother or sister has it, your risk is higher still. However family history of cardiovascular doesn't mean your fate is sealed and your days are numbered. The environment influences the genotype and determines the end result phenotype.
2. Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of cardiovascular complication and death by damaging small blood vessels in the kidneys, eyes often leading to kidney failure and blindness. Recent studies have shown that diabetes can also damage larger blood vessels and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Smoking: The number of years you smoke and the amount of tobacco you smoke per day increases the risk of developing heart disease.
4. High blood pressure: High blood pressure ruptures the walls of blood vessels, where cholesterol gets deposited and results in plaque formation. The plaque can shut down the blood flow in the blood vessels that supply oxygen to heart muscles resulting in heart attack.
5. Lack of exercise: Physically active people are half as likely to suffer heart attacks as those who are sedentary. Both moderate activity such as walking for an hour or vigorous exercise involving running, weight training etc. are associated with significant reduction in heart disease.
6. Elevated lipids: Many studies have shown that elevated blood cholesterol level is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. There are several types of cholesterol and not all cholesterol is bad. HDL cholesterol is good where as LDL and VLDL cholesterol is bad.
7. Depression: Depression stimulates two hormonal pathways that accelerate heart disease. The symptoms of depression include changes in eating habits,changes in sleeping habits, difficulty in making decisions, worsening self-image, short temper, decreased motivation etc.
10. Not enough fruits and vegetables: Many studies show that eating fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease. In one study, people who eat fruit along with other saturated fats showed lower risk of death from heart disease compared to those who did not eat fruit.
11. Stress: People under stress tend to smoke, drink excessively, lose sleep, and eat poorly, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Acute stress cause lower oxygen supply to heart and results in abnormal heart rhythms.
12. Lack of intrinsic faith: People who have a committed religious faith are more likely to enjoy better health. Perhaps it is related to the hormonal pathways associated with having a positive attitude or reduced depression.
13. Lack of omega-3 In your diet: Omega-3 reduces heart disease risk and death from abnormal heart rhythms. Omega-3 lowers LDL cholesterol production, lowers blood pressure and enables the interior of blood vessels to work better.
14. Elevated inflammation: Inflammation can occur inside the blood vessels and in turn leads to atherosclerosis. Inflammation is a factor in other diseases as well.
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