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Cardiovascular Disease And Impact Of Risk Factors

    Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, atherosclerosis, angina and myocardial infarction are a major cause of death around the world. While the incidence of coronary heart diseases is high in developed nations, developing nations are also catching up at a rapid rate.

    Cardiovascular diseases are mainly caused due to inappropriate lifestyle habits. Risk factors causing heart diseases can be broadly divided into two categories. These include major risk factors that are definite to cause a heart attack and contributing risk factors that might cause a heart attack.

Major Risk Factors


     These include high blood pressure, high serum cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, smoking, heredity, age and gender. A normal adult has a systolic blood pressure reading between 120 and 130 while the diastolic pressure ranges between 80 and 90. Higher values indicate high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension causes increased heart rate, oxygen depletion and formation of clots inside the arteries resulting in a heart attack. Cholesterol requirements of the body are sufficed by the liver. However, excess cholesterol also enters the body through high-fat diet. Presence of saturated cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins inside the body causes the formation of plaques on the artery walls, resulting in atherosclerosis.

       Obesity or excess body weight leads to other diseases including diabetes, blood pressure and high cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart diseases. Smoking causes increased heart rate, formation of fatty acid plaques, affects the levels of serum fibrinogen, induces formation of blood clots, causes vasoconstriction and creates irregular heart beats. Heart attacks also occur due to certain genetic anomalies that are hereditarily acquired. Men are at an increased risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases than women because estrogen and female sex hormones protect the heart. Heart diseases are more frequent in older age people who are above the age of 65 as the efficiency of cardiovascular system decreases with age.

Contributing Risk Factors


        These include emotional stress, sex hormones, birth control pills and alcohol. There is no conclusive evidence that these factors cause heart disease. However, these factors have been found to have association with major risk factors in causing heart diseases.

Cardiovascular Disease And Impact Of Risk Factors

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