Our heart is a precious organ and is responsible for healthy and unobstructed flow of blood through our body. It is also an organ which bears the brunt of exertion and helps us in carrying out our daily physical activities effectively. However, in recent times the incidences of heart diseases is on the rise.
Heart diseases are also known as cardiovascular diseases which include valvular heart disease, heart failure which refers to heart’s inability to pump the blood to body, Coronary artery disease and congenital defects which rise at the time of birth itself. In this feature we will look at the various risk factors that may lead to these conditions.
Heart Diseases Risk Factors
Blood pressure is the range of pressure that the heart exerts on the arteries when it pumps the blood and relaxes. The ideal range is considered at 120/80. An increase in this range is called high blood pressure or hypertension and a decrease is referred to as low blood pressure or hypotension.
Both of these conditions have a bearing on the heart as they interfere with its functioning. High blood pressure leads to exertion on the heart as it has to work that much more to ensure the smooth flow of blood whereas lower blood pressure leads to its failure to pump the blood effectively.
We all love the fat laden fried food, but there is a reason why it is called sinful. The fat that goes into your body with these food items tends to accumulate in the arteries because it is difficult for the body to absorb and flush out excessive saturated fats.
If consistently consumed they can cause massive buildups in the arteries. This is called cholesterol. This can lead to heart diseases like peripheral arterial disease, atherosclerosis, coronary artery diseases etc.
Ageing is a natural factor that leads to increased risk of developing coronary heart diseases. Heart attacks and heart failures are reported mostly by the ageing population. With time, the cardiac muscles also become weak which can lead to cardiomyopathy which is a condition related to cardiac muscles.
With age, body’s ability to absorb fats and synthesize them into energy also declines, this leads to an easy accumulation of fats in form of cholesterol. This is why older people are advised to consume lesser fats and more of proteins in the diet.
Smoking is an extremely unhealthy habit which leads to various health problems including heart diseases and conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Cigarette contains nicotine and traces of cyanide, carbon monoxide that are considered the main cause behind its negative effects on the heart. Smoking increases the heart rate and reduces the amount of oxygen that blood carries through the body. Many studies have also shown its association with irregularities in the shape of heart.
In many cases our genes can be blamed for inherent heart conditions. High blood pressure which is one of the leading causes of heart diseases is genetic in nature. You may also belong to family where cholesterol is naturally high in the body which makes you vulnerable to these heart diseases.
However, genes only determine higher risk of developing a heart related ailment but do not assure it. People who have heart diseases running in the family can completely avoid them by making suitable changes in their lifestyle and habits.
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