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What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease comes in a number of forms. There are coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, congestive heart disease, congenital heart disease, and a lot more. All of these forms are deemed capable of causing the deaths of millions of people in the whole world. Several studies have in fact revealed that heart disease is responsible for half of all deaths in the United States alone, and it is the main cause of death in other countries. Given this report, it is now easy for us to say that heart disease is truly a serious, life-threatening condition that needs to be taken into consideration, not to be ignored.

But the question is how to start solving the problem with heart disease?

The answer for that is pretty simple – just know what causes heart disease to occur and develop.

According to several clinical and statistical studies, what causes heart disease can easily be identified with certain categories. Experts have actually set two main categories for identifying what causes heart disease. The first category is consists of the major risk factors, and the other is consists of the contributing factors.

Let’s take a closer look at these categories and know exactly what causes heart disease.

Major Risk Factors

* High Blood Pressure – Medically known as hypertension, high blood pressure is proven to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The idea behind this is the fact that high blood pressure causes the heart to get stiff, leaving the heart not relaxed. This will result to the accumulation of fluid at the back of the heart, then leaving the heart incapable of functioning properly.
* High Cholesterol Levels – Cholesterol has long been considered as one of the major culprits of heart disease. The reason behind this claim is that once the cholesterol level exceeds in its normal level, the tendency is the fat substance will accumulate in the arteries, blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, resulting to heart disease.
* Smoking – Many people know that smoking is bad for the health. Well, this is certainly true as it does not only destroy the lungs, but it poses certain risks to heart disease. Studies have shown that smoking increases heart rate, tightens the major arteries, and can even create irregularities in the heartbeats. It also raises blood pressure, another cause of heart disease.
* Diabetes –  The CDC states that adults with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke as people who do not have diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels in the heart and block blood vessels leading to the brain, causing a stroke. More than 2 in 3 people with diabetes have high blood pressure. Diabetes also raises triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.

Contributing Risk Factors

* Stress – Many doctors have considered stress as one of the contributing risk factors of heart disease. They base their claim on the notion that stress raises the heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the heart’s need for oxygen. If this happens, chest pain can be felt. Aside from this, stress is said to affect the nervous system that is capable of releasing hormones that can raise blood pressure. These hormones can damage the arteries, slowing the blood flow to the heart. Well, although compelling, these claims are not yet proven.

* Alcohol – Many people also believe that what causes heart disease is occur is an excessive alcohol drinking. As a contributing factor to heart disease, this is still not proven, but many have claimed that an excessive intake of alcohol can ruin the arteries, raises high blood pressure, and causes stroke in the end.

* Your Diet – A healthy diet can reduce a person’s chances of getting heart disease. A healthy diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins and limits saturated and trans fat, added sugars, and sodium. Compared to those at a normal weight, people with overweight or obesity are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke and their risk factors, including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, in the United States, nearly 74% of adults have overweight or obesity.

So what causes heart disease to occur and develop has been said. It is important to note now that the more risk factors you have, the more chances of you developing heart disease. But, as you notice, what causes heart disease are to some degree modifiable and treatable. So try to do your best to avoid the problem. You can consider a lifestyle change or take medicines to reduce the risks.

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