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Factors affecting the Development of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).

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Introduction

AS BIOLOGY ESSAY Factors affecting the Development of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Cardiovascular disease(CVD) is the main cause of death in the UK, accounting for over 245,000 deaths a year: four out of ten of all deaths. The main forms of CVD are fundamentally coronary Heart Disease(CHD) also Stroke. Approximately half of all CVD death is from Coronary Heart Disease, and a quarter from Stroke. But CVD can also include congenital heart disease (from birth) such as a hole in the heart or valvular heart disease. CHD and Stroke have a similar cause- a blockage in an artery. CHD causes over 120,000 deaths in the UK: around one in four deaths in women and one in six deaths in women. This compares to about 34,000 deaths a year from lung cancer and 13,000 deaths from breast cancer. It is also the most common form of premature death in the UK causing 23% of premature death in men and 14% of premature death in women. Nearly all deaths from coronary Heart Disease are because of a heart Attack (also called a coronary thrombosis or myocardial infarction). Over 270,000 people in the UK suffer a heart attack every year. About half are fatal-in around 30% of cases the patient will die before reaching the hospital. However death rates have been falling since the late 1970's in the United Kingdom. For adults under 65 years death rate has fallen by 40% in the last 10 years. In men death rates have been falling faster in the younger age groups. E.g. there was a 43% fall in the death rate for men aged 45-54 in 1989 and 1999, but the fall in the death rate for men aged 65-74 was only 34%. ...read more.

Middle

Ischaemia means insufficient blood supply and comes from the Greek words for 'ischein', to restrain, and 'haima' meaning blood. (www.bhf.org.uk) CHD does not have one specific cause, but a number of contributory factors. The following are the factors that affect the development of Coronary Heart Disease. There are factors that cannot be modified; Increasing age - The risk of CHD is greater for men over 40 years, and for women after menopause. About four out of five people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older. At older ages, women who have heart attacks are more likely than men are, to die from them within a few weeks. Male sex (gender) - Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life. This is thought to be because of the protective female sex hormones. Oestrogens reduce the proportion of low-density lipoproteins in the blood. These carry large amount of cholesterol which lead to the deposites on the arteries as mentioned previously. So after menopause, women's death rate from heart disease increases. But it's not as great as men's until both groups reach the 80s. Heredity (including Race) - Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves. If a child has one parent with the disease or died from it, the risk is doubled, if both parent have or had it, the child is five times more likely to contract it. However, families often share the same unhealthy habits and it may be misleading to assume that the risk factors are entirely inherited. Nevertheless the family history can yield important information about CHD risk. ...read more.

Conclusion

Women tend to have more fat below the waist where it is less harmful, men tend to have it at the waist, this is another reason for why there is a gender difference in contracting CHD. Excess weight increases the heart's work. It also raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. It can also make diabetes more likely to develop. Many obese and overweight people may have difficulty losing weight. But by losing even as few as 10 to 20 pounds, you can lower your heart disease risk. Obesity is normally from excessive over eating, especially of fatty foods. It can easily be avoided if the energy consumption is decreased to only what is needed for daily activities and a balanced diet is strongly recommended. (www.americanheart.org and Advanced Biology) World wide-economics and wealth CHD is by far the leading disease and thus cause of death in the developed world. (www.doh.gov.uk/heart/index.htm and British heart foundation- posted information) Conclusion-As well as taking the risks into account, other ways to hinder the development of CHD include eating more fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably five a day). The salt intake within diet should be dramatically increased. People are not aware of the salt contained in many foods. Processed foods contain very high levels of salt so no additional salt is needed e.g. at the table or while cooking. Often drugs and medicines can help to prevent the development of CHD. These include anti-arrhythmic drugs, anti-platelet drugs, anticoagulants and protamine also lipid and cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) are used primarily, a secondary less effective group is fibrates and an older group that act on bile acids to lower cholesterol called cholestyramine. ...read more.

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