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Does Lifestyle Affect the Development of Coronary Heart Disease? Coronary heart disease (CHD) - also known as ischaemic heart disease - is the

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Does Lifestyle Affect the Development of Coronary Heart Disease? Coronary heart disease (CHD) - also known as ischaemic heart disease - is the number one cause of death in Britain and is the most common form of heart disease. 'It accounts for over 245,000 deaths per year, approximately one in four deaths in men and one in six deaths in women. In the world today around 1.5 million people suffer from angina.' (www.bhf.co.uk, 2003) This is the most common form of CHD. The most common cause of CHD is atherosclerosis. CHD refers to atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis is the result of an atheroma forming in an artery or the hardening of the arteries. The coronary arteries increasingly build up fat and cholesterol deposits from the blood. Due to calcium salts in the blood the deposits become hard, this therefore makes the walls of the arteries hard and less elastic. The deposits (plaques) bulges inwards making the lumen of the arteries very narrow, which slows down blood flow and can sometimes stop it, as clots are more likely to form. ...read more.


If relatives have CHD or there is a history of the disease in your family, then you are most likely to be at risk of developing it. This is due to the fact that parents pass their genes onto their children that may render them more liable to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or contracting diabetes mellitus. 'Heart disease risk is also higher amongst Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans.' (www.medic-planet.com, 1999) About two thirds of people who suffer from diabetes die of some form of heart disease. You are unable to control getting diabetes. When blood glucose levels are low, not enough is provided for the cardiac muscle; therefore cellular respiration cannot take place to the maximum effect. Also people that suffer from diabetes tend to have high blood lipid levels so they are more likely to develop plaques from the fat deposits in the blood. There are several other risk factors that we can modify or control. These are exercise, smoking, stress, diet, socio-economic class and alcohol intake. ...read more.


A high fat diet can increase the risk of CHD because cholesterol combine with proteins found in the blood to form lipoproteins; low-density lipoproteins contribute to an atheroma forming. Their deposits are left in the arteries causing blockages as explained previously. People with a cholesterol level above 240mg per 100cm� of blood are at risk of developing CHD later in life. Without a healthy diet you could become overweight so the heart has extra strain to cope with. If you are overweight you are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood fats. People in higher classes tend to eat richer foods like red meat, which increase fat and cholesterol levels. Lower class people may not have adequate personal hygiene, which may affect chances. Your alcohol intake can contribute to high triglycerides. It can damage cardiac muscle directly and can cause irregular beating; it can also damage the liver. Alcohol contributes to high blood pressure - increasing chances of CHD. 'Men are encouraged to drink no more than 28 units per week and women no more than 21 units.' (Coronary Heart Disease, page 24, 1996) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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