Some Possible Risk Factors For Heart Disease

The term heart disease refers to various types of heart conditions and coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease that causes heart attack. Other types of heart problems can include the type of condition which involve heart valve or a condition in which the heart does not pump blood effectively. It can lead to heart failure. Heart diseases are often accompanied by certain symptoms such as:

  • Discomfort or chest pain
  • Discomfort in the jaw, neck, and back
  • Feeling sick to the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

Heart diseases are associated with various different risk factors and some of the risk factors are as follows:

1.High blood pressure

High blood pressure is said to be one of the major risk factors for the heart disease and a leading risk factor for stroke. Normally, blood pressure commonly rises and fall during the day, but when the blood pressure stays high or stays low for a long time, it causes a problem. When the blood pressure if the body becomes too high, it is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. Most often, people having high blood pressure do not have any symptom and thus high blood pressure is sometimes known as a silent killer.

An elevated blood pressure causes damage to various organs of the body, including the heart and it affects the heart by making the blood vessels narrower and less flexible. Heart problems are mainly caused by the blockage that prevents the blood from flowing oxygen rich blood to the parts of the body. Blockage occurs when there is a buildup of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels. The buildup of fatty acid or plaque leads to the narrowing of the blood vessels.

2. High cholesterol level

Blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with the chances of developing heart disease. In fact, it is considered to be one of the major risk factors for heart problems. Cholesterol is the building block of the body’s cells and it is made by the liver. It travels to the body’s cells in the blood. Primarily there are two types of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (also known as bad cholesterol) and high density lipoprotein (also known as good cholesterol).

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it leads to the slow down of blood flow to the heart and when an adequate oxygen rich blood does not reach the heart, it caused chest pain. When cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream, it is packed into low density lipoprotein which is also known as bad cholesterol. Although low density lipoprotein is essential and required by the body, high level of low density lipoprotein is highly associated with the increased risk of heart diseases and heart attack.

3. Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it is also the common cause of death worldwide. There is a strong relationship between cigarette smoking and the development of cardiovascular diseases. Smoking damages the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Effects of smoking on some of the common diseases are as follows:

  • Atherosclerosis - It is a condition in which the plaque build up in the arteries of the wall and makes inside of the arteries narrow. As a result, blood flow can no longer flow properly to all the parts of the body. Cigarette smoking increases the formation of plaque.
  • Coronary artery disease - It is a disease that occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscles are blocked by clots. Chemicals that are present in cigarette cause the blood to thicken and leads to the formation of clots in the veins or arteries.
  • Stroke - Cigarette smoking highly increases the risk of stroke. A stroke occurs when the blood flow within the brain is interrupted and causes the loss of brain function.

Also Read: 5 Tips That Help You Improve Heart Health.

4. Obesity

Obesity or excess body weight is an important risk factor for mortality and morbidity for cardiovascular disease. Obesity put pressure on the heart and increases the work of the heart. With each beat, a larger blood volume needs to be ejected and this leads to the enlargement and thickening of the muscles that form the chamber of the heart. Obesity is highly associated with the high blood pressure which itself is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. According to the studies, obese people are six times more likely to have high blood pressure as compared to those who are healthy or lean.

Severe obesity can be an independent cause of heart failure. It is a cause of atrial fibrillation and as a result, insufficient blood is pumped which causes symptoms like shortness of breath and dizziness.

5. Diabetes

Diabetes is a medical condition which occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. It occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin or when the body fails to use the produced insulin.

Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for the development of developing macrovascular complications, including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. According to the researchers, people having diabetes are at high risk of dying from cardiovascular disease as compared to those who are not suffering from diabetes. The uncontrolled glucose level in the body can cause damage to the blood vessels, leads to a buildup of fatty deposits and causes narrowing of the arteries.

6. Stress

There is no doubt in saying that stress constantly affects the health. Stress can cause various reactions throughout the body, including psychological responses such as depression, physiological responses such as elevated blood pressure and behavioral responses such as over eating. A psychological response such as depression is highly associated with the development of heart problems. Depression triggers various symptoms that affect the heart.

Also, stress causes a physiological response which includes elevated blood pressure. As stated above, elevated blood pressure is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart and can lead to the damage of the arteries.


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