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Heart Disease

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Healthy and not-so-healthy factors Factors Nancy Jim Alcohol Moderate alcohol consumption helps protect against heart disease by raising HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing plaque accumulations in your arteries. Alcohol also has a mild anti-coagulating effect, keeping platelets from clumping together to form clots. On the other hand, drinking more than three drinks a day has a direct toxic effect on the heart. Heavy drinking, particularly over time, can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and stroke. Heavy drinking puts more fat into the circulation in your body, raising your triglygeride level (Spence). Risks for heart disease were lowest for the most frequent drinkers. For example, men who drank only one day a week had a 7% reduced risk, while men who drank daily had a 41% reduced risk (Medical News Today). Overweight Being an unhealthy weight, even if your cholesterol is under control and your blood pressure is normal, puts you at elevated risk for serious cardiovascular problems and/or diabetes. If you are obese, the risk is far greater than if overweight. Smoking Non-smoker; however, she should hold Jim to his promise to quit, since he is putting her at risk for respiratory infection, asthma, and/or lung cancer. A person's risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Jim is also putting his friends and family at risk with the second hand smoke. Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of respiratory infections, asthma, and cancer in humans (American Lung Association). Exercise Regular physical activity helps prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow to your heart and strengthening your heart's contractions so that your heart pumps more blood with less effort. ...read more.


build up with in the inner lining of an artery of her heart. With Nancy's age, this build up of plaque could harden one of her arteries. With her triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) level above the normal ranges, it is safe to say that there is some plaque buildup within her heart. The plaque can grow bulky enough to drastically reduce the blood's passage through an artery, but most of the damage takes place when they become fragile and rupture. Plaque that rupture will cause blood clots to form that can hinder blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. If either happens and blocks a blood vessel that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack. If it blocks a blood vessel that nourishes the brain, it causes a stroke, and if blood supply to the arms or legs is diminished, it can cause difficulty walking and ultimately lead to gangrene (American Heart Association). With Nancy's high LDL and triglycerides, she is a walking heart attack waiting to happen. Respiratory Infection, Asthma, and/or Lung Cancer Since Jim is the smoker in the family, Nancy is at risk to. Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of respiratory infections, asthma, and cancer in humans (American Lung Association). Osteoporosis With her sister diagnosed with osteoporosis and with her mother's passing from complication following a broken hip, Nancy is most likely to get osteoporosis as well. Her age and hysterectomy will play a role in osteoporosis. In women, the sex hormone estrogen protects bones. If a woman goes through menopause early, the risk of osteoporosis increases. The same is true if the ovaries removed; that is because your ovaries produce most of the body's estrogen. With having a hysterectomy, her body has lost the major source of her estrogen production; she is still making small amounts of estrogen through her liver, adrenal glands, and the breasts. ...read more.


With smoking, damage is done to the interior walls of the arteries. This damage permits accumulation of cholesterol to gather and hinder blood flow (Mayo Clinic). Nancy presents with this risk factor even though she is not a smoker, but Jim's secondhand smoke will cause the same amount of damage. High blood cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels are a major cause for angina. With a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level and triglyceride level, can produce deposits of plaque within the bodies' arteries (Mayo Clinic). Nancy's LDL and triglyceride counts are well outside the normal range (LDL - 161 mg/dL and triglyceride - 220 mg/dL). It is not stated if Nancy has diabetes; however, with a glucose count of 128 mg/dL (outside of the normal range) she could have diabetes. With this high glucose count, her body is not using insulin properly; this misuse can lead to diabetes. Diabetes can accelerate the plaque buildup within the arteries and negatively affect blood cholesterol levels (Mayo Clinic). Consumed in moderation, alcohol could aid in raising high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and can have a protective effect against a heart attack. However, excessive drinking can damage the heart muscle, raise blood pressure, and increase triglyceride levels (Mayo Clinic). Nancy could be drinking heavily while on the cruise. When Jim and Nancy where walking around the deck of the boat, her body started to feel the stress within her arteries due to plaque buildup. Nancy's symptoms lessen at rest, because she is starting to calm her body down. When Nancy was sitting on the deck of the boat, her body was relieved from the stress of walking. Her heart started to slow down and slowly started to pump more deoxygenated blood into the lungs so that it could be re-oxygenated. This helps her lungs to "open up" and take in more oxygen. This increases her O2 saturation, which brings vital oxygen to the heart. At rest, Nancy's arteries are under less pressure. This less pressure helps her heart properly refill with deoxygenated blood, so that the process can start over again. This will slowly bring her body back to homeostasis. ...read more.

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