Heart disease affects millions of people all over the world. For years, this is an area that has been heavily researched. Experts in this field are trying to find solutions that will reduce heart disease and increase life expectancy.
In recent years there has been extensive research into what causes heart disease. Some of the causes of heart disease are:
- High Blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Being diabetic
- Not participating in regular exercise
- BMI that is overweight
- Family history of heart disease
The NHS has identified some of the contributors to cardiovascular disease. The factors highlighted above are not the main factors that cause heart disease but they contribute to the disease.
How bad is smoking?
Smoking has been known to be a leading cause in heart disease. Smoking damages the lining in your arteries, which leads to a build-up of fatty material. The fatty deposits are left in the arteries causing it to build up and narrow the passage. This makes it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body- putting extra stress on the heart.
High blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure it increases the stress level on your heart. This makes it harder for the heart to pump blood around the body and it becomes harder and stiffer which means that it cannot function properly. High blood pressure can cause a build-up of extra fluid, which can ultimately affect the heart.
Cholesterol alone will not affect heart disease, as it is a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol build up restricts the arteries to allow free flowing blood to move around the body. The cholesterol deposits affect the rest of the body, as other organs need to work hard to function at optimum levels.
Having type 1 and type 2 diabetes can instigate cardiovascular disease. Diabetes changes the makeup of blood vessels as they become thicker. This in turn makes it harder for blood to flow as it is now restricted. This adds pressure onto the heart.
Being overweight cannot only add strain to your heart but to all of your internal organs. Being overweight particularly puts pressure on the heart as blood vessels and arteries are strained form excess weight. It is important that regular exercise takes place so that weight can be managed more effectively. Cardiovascular exercise is good as it allows your heart to become strengthened.
Preventions of heart disease vary – it all depends on how bad it is. For those that are in the early stages it is recommended that the following preventions be considered. This includes:
- Managing your weight by regularly exercising
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake and not binge drink
- Look after your blood pressure so that it does not peak above normal levels
If you are past the early stages of heart disease then there are private heart surgery specialists who can advise on the best option for you.