Nothing instills fear in a physician more than a nurse yelling ‘code blue, ,’ especially if the patient is having a heart attack. Heart disease, specifically heart attacks, the leading cause of death in the United States, is triggered by a variety of factors. The most important of these factors include: family history, cholesterol levels, smoking, high blood pressure, race, obesity, and gender. heart disease is hereditary. The single most important cause of the illness is family history. This is to say that if one has heart disease, then his or her progeny will be at an increased risk of suffering from the disorder.
If a patient knows that his or her family has had problems related to the heart, preventive measures can be instituted. Many people experience troubles with their heart because they have levels of cholesterol that are not conducive to good health. Red meat is extremely high in cholesterol content. There are two basic types of cholesterol: Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).
LDL is a harmful type of cholesterol, whereas HDL is key in the prevention of heart disease.
Thus, there are two ways that cholesterol level can potentially attack the heart: a high LDL level or a low HDL level in the blood. Another very common cause of heart trouble is smoking. It is a known fact that a higher percentage of smokers have heart attacks than non-smokers. This is because smoking causes blood to clot more easily. These blood clots, then, form in the arteries that are essential for blood flow. Since blood flow to the heart is obstructed, the heart struggles and often experiences spasms that are characteristic of heart attacks.
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High blood pressure, much like a high LDL level, can be detrimental to one’s health. Blood pressure is the force that blood applies to arterial walls as it flows through. Consuming too much salt is the most common cause of high blood pressure. Though many medications are available to treat this disorder, they are expensive and must be taken daily. Thus, many victims of high blood pressure do not treat the problem and therefore have serious heart problems. Possibly the most interesting cause of heart disease is race.
Members of certain races are more prone to have heart problems than others. This can be partially attributed to the hereditary nature of the disease. African-Americans are the most susceptible to heart disease. They generally have higher blood pressure than other races.
Caucasians are the next most commonly afflicted people, while Asians are rarely bothered. Food intake is another possible explanation for this racial phenomenon. African-Americans generally eat more fried items than do other races, while Asians consume a lot of fish, which is very healthy. The genetic disadvantage for African-Americans, coupled with their poor eating habits increases their probability of acquiring heart disorders.
Being obese, or excessively overweight, can cause a person to experience heart trouble. This is an even bigger problem in the United States than in other countries around the world. Since America is extremely prosperous, there is an abundance of food. Thus, people are inclined to eat unnecessarily and gain too much weight.
... congenital abnormalities of the valve, rheumatic heart disease, aneurysms of the aorta, high blood pressure or excessive build-up of calcium over ... other forms of heart disease, which must be screened for when a patient presents with this problem. An overactive thyroid ... to an isolated problem with the electrical conduction system of the heart without any other heart disease or other contributing ...
‘Junk’ foods are another reason why people become overweight, since they have high fat contents. The more fat that one has in their body, the greater the likelihood that one will suffer from arterial blockage. This blockage, then, has the potential to trigger a heart attack. The least significant of the major causes of heart disease is sex. Males are more prone to suffer from the disease than are females. This is due to the higher estrogen level in females.
Estrogen, a hormone, prevents arterial clogging. After menopause, however, women’s estrogen content decreases. Thus, as women age, they become more susceptible to heart disease. Still, men are at a genetic disadvantage, because their low estrogen content can lead to problems.
The seven factors listed above are all potential causes of heart disease, particularly heart attacks. They result in the clogging of arteries, blood clots in the clogged arteries, and spasms of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. These three phenomena are the direct causes of heart attacks. Though medications are widespread, each year heart disease causes millions of deaths.