The statistics for heart disease are staggering for both men and women in the United States and is the leading cause of death. 13 million people a year develop coronary heart disease and approximately half of them will die. There are other heart issues at well that are the eventual cause of disability and death among a large portion of the population, all results of coronary heart disease. Strokes, high blood pressure, coronary failure, congenital defects, bacterial endocarditis and arrhythmias, are all complications. Before you start your 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 amount of blood to reach the heart, the condition can begin to develop. Most of the causes of coronary heart disease are attributed to the plaque that forms along the artery walls. Plaque is the fatty buildup of cholesterol that accumulate over time. It can build up to the extent that the blood flow can be restricted or completely cut off from one or more arteries. Statistics have shown that men suffer from heart attacks more often than women, due to excessive plaque buildup. While plaque and cholesterol are the culprit behind most conditions, there are many causes that can stimulate plaque development. People who understand the risk factors can have some control over how acute their personal risk for coronary problems.
Typical risk factors associated with the cause of coronary heart disease are:
Cholesterol Levels – 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.
Heredity – 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.
Obesity & 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 – 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 – 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 midlife and beyond to circumvent any developing problem.
Gender – 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.
Amount of Daily Physical Activity – 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.
When your coronary arteries become blocked, your doctor may treat the problem by giving blood a new pathway to the heart muscle. During coronary artery bypass surgery a blood vessel is removed or redirected from one area of the body and placed around the areas of narrowing to “bypass” the blockages and restore blood flow to the heart muscle. These substitute blood vessels can come from your legs, arms, or chest. They are safe to use because there are other pathways that take blood to and from these tissues. The surgeon will decide which grafts to use depending on the location of your blockage, the amount of blockage, and the size of your coronary arteries.