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Heart disease- it's your fault?

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Introduction

Heart disease- it's your fault? Heart Disease is not a single disease, but a range of disorders of the heart. Heart diseases kill more people in developed nations than any other disease. They can arise from congenital defects, infection, narrowing of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure (hypertension), or disturbances of heart rhythm. The most common cause of coronary heart disease is a narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. Like all other muscles, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, which are carried to it in the blood in the coronary arteries. When these arteries become narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (atheroclerosis) and can no longer supply sufficient blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). Other things, apart from fat and cholesterol, can cause this, narrowing of the arteries. Damage to the heart or valves due to a congenital defect, inflammation and damage associated with various viral, bacterial, fugal, rickettsial or parasitic diseases, Rheumatic fever or syphilis, and genetic or autoimmune disorders in which cellular proteins in the heart muscles are deranged or which disrupt enzymes affecting cardiac function are also to blame in some cases. ...read more.

Middle

There are also some protective factors, which can be supplemented into the diet such as cod liver oil and iodine. These ideas are based on the fact that countries with these foods as a main part of the diet have fewer CHD mortalities. Excess weight tends to increase your LDL cholesterol levels, so if you are overweight and have high cholesterol levels, then losing weight will reduce these levels and lower your chances of developing heart disease. Weight loss also helps to lower triglycerides and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. On the other hand, crash dieting should also be avoided as this can also be linked to heart disease by loss of protective nutrients in the diet and added stress. People who are overweight also tend to eat food which contains lots of calories but very little nourishment, this may mean that they have a biochemical imbalance which increases the tendency to form blood clots, which play a major part in heart attacks. Physical activity and exercise are definitely beneficial in the fight against heart disease; this has been proven in dose- response trials. It helps because when we exercise, our heart beats more rapidly, the arteries widen to provide more oxygen to the muscles and arterial blood flow improves. ...read more.

Conclusion

After the age of about 50, women often have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. As you get older, the arteries thicken naturally anyway; this is to prevent wear and rupture of the blood vessels. High cholesterol levels can now be treated with cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins, bile Acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, and fibrates So are our modern lifestyles to blame for an explosion in CHD mortality? It appears that an outstanding number of heart disease cases are caused by factors that we can easily control; meaning that many deaths are self induced and could have been prevented. There are however, many other causes and so when considering the question "is heart disease your fault" there is no real answer. Nobody knows the extent of the risks they are at and so each CHD case is individual and contributed to by many factors. The above information, pictures, quotes and facts were all obtained from a mixture of the following resources: * Microsoft Encarta 2002 * Introduction to advanced biology - C J Clegg * Prima magazine march 2003 - Mind body and soul, who had the heart attack? * The cholesterol myths - Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD * Stop That Heart Attack! - Dr Derrick Cutting * http://nhlbisupport.com/chd1/meds.html ...read more.

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