Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Oct 26, 2023

Introduction

Oxygen and blood cannot readily reach the heart muscle if the arteries become clogged or too thin, which can result in symptoms including angina (chest discomfort). A heart attack may result if the clot is formed in the coronary artery and blood flow is stopped to the cardiac muscles. It may begin when you're young and in your middle years. (Temple Health, 2023)


Complications

1. Heart failure: when insufficient blood is pumped by the heart, the supply doesn’t meet the body's demand resulting in heart failure.


2. Cardiomyopathy: if the coronary artery is obstructed with the plaque deposition then heart failure occurs.


3. Stroke: When the arteries leading to the brain are constricted or obstructed, ischemic stroke occurs.


4. Aneurysm: An aneurysm, a bulging of the artery wall. You might suffer possibly catastrophic internal bleeding if an aneurysm bursts.


5. Disease of the peripheral arteries: In this illness, usually the legs, do not receive enough blood flow. Walking-related leg pain, or claudication, is the most obvious indication of this.


6. Cardiac arrest: The abrupt loss of respiration and heart function is referred to as sudden cardiac arrest. If the emergency is not treated on the spot then death may occur. (CDC, 2019)


Risk Factors

● Heart disease and atherosclerosis are associated to foods and diets that include trans fats, and high cholesterol.


● A diet rich in salt (sodium) can elevate the blood pressure. Because it adheres to the artery walls and leads to the formation of fatty plaques. Your arteries may get blocked as a result of this buildup, which raises your risk of a stroke or heart attack.


● Heart disease can result from insufficient physical exercise.


● Risks for high blood pressure and heart disease can rise with excessive alcohol usage. Additionally, it increases blood triglyceride levels, an unhealthy fat that increases the risk of heart disease.


● Smoke from cigarettes produces carbon monoxide, which inhibits the quantity of oxygen binding the blood. (Mayoclinic, 2022)


● Your risk of having heart disease may be increased by your ethnic heritage. People with certain ancestries, such as those from South Asia, the Middle East, are more likely to suffer heart disease.


● You are more likely to get heart disease if it's genetic—such as your parent or sibling—has experienced a stroke or cardiac arrest around the age of 60.


● The risk of getting heart disease can be increased by depression just as much as it is by smoking and having high blood pressure.


● Diabetes-related elevated sugar levels over time can damage the heart's arteries and increase the likelihood that fatty deposits will form there.


● High blood pressure is a substantial risk factor for heart disease. Your kidneys, nervous system, heart, and other important organs might be harmed if the abnormal pressure is not controlled. The term "silent killer" is widely used to describe high blood pressure. (Anderson et al., 1991)


Symptoms

√ Aches and pains in the chest

√ Unsteadiness

√ Syncope or fainting

√ A chest fluttering sensation

√ Feeling dizzy

√ Breathlessness

√ Bradycardia. (Temple Health, 2023)


Management

Blood Pressure Test:

While your heart circulates blood throughout the body, monitor the pressure inside your arteries. The tests are quick and simple, and they are normally carried out every time you see the doctor utilizing an inflatable cuff that is wrapped around the arm.


Blood Cholesterol Test: 

A cholesterol test detects triglycerides, a form of blood fat, LDL (bad cholesterol), and HDL (good cholesterol). A coronary calcification score on a CT scan of a heart might be very helpful to assist doctors in deciding what course of therapy to pursue if a person's blood cholesterol has to be decreased. (CDC, 2019)


Blood Glucose Test:

Your doctor will choose which of the three tests (Random, Fasting, HBA1C) available to measure the amount of glucose in your blood.

Diabetes, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke dramatically, can result from untreated high blood sugar.


BMI Or Body Mass Index Measurement:

Body mass index, abbreviated BMI, calculates a person's level of body fat. You may use it to determine if someone is at a weight that is unhealthy. Using your height, waist circumference, or weight, your doctor can determine your BMI. (Mayoclinic, 2022)


CT Heart Scan:

A calcium evaluation test, commonly known as a cardiac CT scan, takes pictures of your heart using a CT scanner. These photos can demonstrate whether your arteries have calcium accumulation. Calcium buildup in your arteries can lead to heart attacks and other heart conditions. (Anderson et al., 1991)


Conclusions

Extra body fat, especially around the abdomen, can increase cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, it makes your heart work harder. These conditions can raise the risk of atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart disease.

Early detection of the heart condition enables the patient to work with your doctor to choose lifestyle changes and medicines to lower your risk.

References:

1.Are You at Risk for Heart Disease? (n.d.). Temple Health. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from https://www.templehealth.org/about/blog/are-you-at-risk-for-heart-disease


2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, December 9). Heart disease risk factors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm


3.Mayo Clinic. (2022, August 25). Heart disease. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118


4.Anderson, K. M., Odell, P. M., Wilson, P. W., & Kannel, W. B. (1991). Cardiovascular disease risk profiles. American heart journal, 121(1), 293-298.


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