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Factors Affecting the Development of Coronary Heart Disease

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Factors affecting the development of coronary heart disease The heart is a powerful pump responsible for delivering blood to all the vital organs through a complex network of arteries and veins. It is essential that your heart, veins and arteries remain in good condition. Arteries have different names, depending on what part of the body they supply; those supplying the heart itself are called coronary arteries. When these arteries are affected, the result is coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in the UK accounting for around 125,000 deaths a year: approximately one in four deaths in men and one in six deaths in women. It is also the most common cause of premature death in the UK: 26% of premature deaths in men and 16% of premature deaths in women. ...read more.


Conditions that increase your risk of developing heart disease are called risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the greater your risk is of developing heart disease. However, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by modifying your risk factors. Coronary heart disease occurs when fatty deposits build up on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. This slow, progressive process is called atherosclerosis. The deposits are called plaque, and they are made of fat, cholesterol and other substances. A high level of blood cholesterol makes it more likely that atherosclerosis will develop. Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body and is found in many foods. In Western society, where virtually everyone has some degree of atherosclerosis, this process of plaque development begins in childhood and continues throughout life. ...read more.


Although it is needed by your body to function properly, too much cholesterol can clog coronary arteries, making it hard for blood to bring in oxygen and nutrients. If and artery becomes blocked, blood flow stops and a heart attack may occur. There are two types of cholesterol: - low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - the 'bad' cholesterol - high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol - the 'good' cholesterol High levels of LDL cholesterol increase your chance of heart attack and other heart diseases, such as atherosclerosis and angina. HDL cholesterol is 'good' because it helps clear LDL cholesterol out of your arteries. Lowering blood pressure is also an important to reduce the risk of suffering from coronary heart disease. Losing weight is the most effective lifestyle change to lower blood pressure and can help lower blood cholesterol levels. Smoking contributes to coronary heart disease, reduces oxygen supply in the blood, worsens cholesterol and increases clotting proteins. Stopping will dramatically decrease the risk of a heart attack. ...read more.

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