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Factors Affecting The Development Of Coronary Heart Disease

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Introduction

Factors Affecting The Development Of Coronary Heart Disease Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) has huge costs to every industrial country and indeed many developing countries. CHD costs the NHS �500 million pounds every year1 in England and Wales. However, the human costs of CHD are much more serious than any financial ones. CHD accounts for 26% of all deaths in England and Wales2, this means that CHD is the most important and common cause of premature death in the UK. CHD also causes serious discomfort and pain in many people due to such problems as angina and other related heart problems. CHD is caused by a thickening of the inside walls of the coronary arteries. This thickening, called atherosclerosis, (sometimes called 'furring' of the arteries) narrows the space through which blood can flow (by means of an atheroma), decreasing and sometimes completely cutting off the supply of blood and therefore oxygen and nutrients to the heart. A complete blockage called myocardial infarction (MI) can result in death whilst a partial blockage can result in Angina (chest pains).3 4 Research over the last 10-20 years has shown that treating the causes of CHD can successfully decrease deaths and disabilities. ...read more.

Middle

HDL's have properties which allow them to remove cholesterol from the circulation and therefore protect against CHD. The best way to achieve this ratio of a high level of HDL's to a low level of LDL's is to consume food which contains monounsaturated fats as they lower LDL levels but at the same time do not decrease HDL levels. These fats can be found in olive oil, walnut oil, rapeseed oil and avocado.18 An unhealthy diet, such as the one which is high in calories, salt and cholesterol, carries more 'risk factors' than just high cholesterol. An unhealthy diet can also cause obesity, which can cause or greatly increase the risk of, CHD. In 1979, Bray conducted a study in which a ratio of weight to height was established as the best way of showing obesity in relation to the risk of CHD. The relationship shows a 'J shape' where those who are underweight show a greater risk than those who are 'normal.' However, once the weight of 'normal' has passed, the risk of CHD increases with the level of obesity. This is because obesity causes a rise in blood pressure and a greater strain on the heart.19 An unhealthy diet and therefore obesity can also cause the level of physical activity to decline. ...read more.

Conclusion

The causes, environmental and genetic, are now well understood and a concerted effort to tackle such causes as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking are underway and hopefully a decrease in deaths and illness from CHD will be observed in the next 10-20 years. By Alex Lawson 1 Department of Health 1992 2 NHS 1991 3 Dr Mary Crossman 4 Dr Kristine Marina's Lectures On CHD 5 BUPA Factsheet - Dr Scott Lennox 6 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 7 Dr Kristine Marina's Lectures On CHD 8 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 9 BUPA Factsheet - Dr Scott Lennox 10 British Heart Foundation - Blood Pressure 11 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 12 British Heart Foundation - Smoking and your Heart 13 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 14 Glantz & Parmley (1995) 15 Dr Kristine Marina's Lectures On CHD 16 Dr Mary Crossman 17 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 18 British Heart Foundation - Lowering Your Cholesterol 19 British Heart Foundation - Physical Activity And Your Heart 20 http://www.coolware.com/health/medical_reporter/risk.html 21 British Heart Foundation - Physical Activity And Your Heart 22 Dr Mary Crossman 23 Coronary Heart Disease Prevention Grace M. Lindsay, Allan Graw 24 Dr Kristine Marina 25 Dr Kristine Marina Alex Lawson 1204 1 ...read more.

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