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Coronary Heart Disease - A disease of the developing world.

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Introduction

Coronary Heart Disease - A disease of the developing world Coronary Heart Disease is the most common serious medical condition in the Western world. It affects people more as they grow older and impinges on both men and women, rich and poor, black and white. In the USA 7.5% of white people suffer from heart disease. 6.9% of black people suffer. This small difference in percent is not due to different genetics, but most likely different lifestyles the people lead. Coronary heart disease is the disease that involves the narrowing and blocking of the coronary arteries. These arteries line the heart and supply it with oxygen-rich blood and nutrients. There are two types of CHD. 'Angina Pectoris' is where a blockage occurs in the arteries preventing blood passing to tissues which is brief and incomplete, no damage occurs if the blockage allows blood through again, but if blood is still unable to pass through and a portion of the muscle is destroyed it is called a 'Myocardial Infarction', this is commonly called a 'heart attack'. The narrowing and furring of the coronary arteries cause CHD. As the body gets older, the tissues and systems change, artery walls become harder and they thicken, this general process is called 'Arteriosclerosis'. This increases the risk of heart disease because as the walls thicken, the arteries become narrower, increasing the risk of blockage of the flow of blood to the heart muscle. ...read more.

Middle

CHD has no regard for colour, but the racial background may have long-term affects. CHD could increase because of health-damaging environments, such as exposure to car exhaust fumes. Pollution from this type of source can increase the risk of a heart attack as carbon monoxide in the fumes affects the blood's clotting ability. There are a number of uncontrollable risks that contribute to the development of CHD. One reason for an increased incidence of CHD in developed countries is that we are all living longer. Atherosclerosis and CHD take a long time to develop, and as time goes by and, the body becomes older, it becomes less able to repair damage caused by other factors. Gender also affects the development of CHD in many ways. As talked about above, before passing the menopause, women have a variety of hormones that protect the arteries. So men between the ages of 35 and 44 are 6 times more likely to sustain a heart attack than women. Women after the age of 65 are just as likely to suffer from heart disease as men. An increased risk of suffering heart disease may run in the family. There are conditions such as inherited Familial Hyperlipidaemia. Sufferers have naturally raised levels of cholesterol, and are thus at higher risk of developing CHD. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas, people living in developed and developing countries have relatively unhealthy diets, where animal fats are common; fast food outlets provide us with tasty but extremely fatty foods. This affects us all now and will also affect us in the future, because the human body has evolved to eat as much fatty food as possible as a survival tactic. Some countries now have an infinite supply of unhealthy food. Scientists now believe that it is a basic human instinct to eat as much as possible, when food is freely available. This will be linked to our history, where we may have had to survive long periods when food was scarce. This instinct will naturally lead to higher risks of obesity and CHD. Our bodies have not evolved to cope with such prolonged high-fat diets. Such diets can lead to obesity in children and adults. Obesity puts a severe strain on the heart and circulatory system. Jobs in developed countries can be pressured with huge financial and hierarchy influences. When linked to a lack of exercise, and a feeling of frustration with the pace of life, such pressures can lead to stress, which will naturally increase the risks of succumbing to CHD. This is less so in LEDC's as people are mainly trying to just get by although they will suffer from stress only will increase development of CHD when there are other factors involved. ...read more.

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