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Risk factors for Heart Disease - Wellness Love

Introduction :

Today, we find there is increased incidence of heart diseases which is due to various factors such as increased sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, processed foods and the list goes on. Here, are a few risk factors for heart disease.

Pulse, Frequency, Heartbeat, Heart

Risk factors for Heart disease :

The risk factors for heart disease can be divided into :
  • Non modifiable Risk factors
  • Modifiable Risk factors

Non modifiable risk factors :

1. Age :

The risk of heart diseases increases with age. People older than 65 years are more prone to heart diseases due to age related changes .

Hands, Walking Stick, Elderly, Old Person, Cane

2. Sex :

Males are more prone to heart diseases when compared to women.
Women after menopause are equally at risk as compared to men.

3. Family history  :

Genetics plays a role in certain diseases including heart disease. The risk of heart diseases increases by 40 % if you have a sibling with heart disease, a study says. It is more accelerated if family history is combined with unhealthy lifestyle.

4. Ethnicity :

African- Americans are more prone to heart diseases.

Modifiable risk factors :

The name itself suggests that these risk factors can be reduced if you make lifestyle changes. Some of them are :

1. Smoking :

Smoking is one of the major preventable cause of heart disease. Infact ,the risk of developing heart disease increases twice than non smoker and 1 in 5 deaths of people with heart disease is directly linked to smoking.

So, How does smoking affect heart ?
  • Smoking causes arteries of the heart to harden which puts pressure on heart to work harder. 
  • Nicotine in cigarettes affects the oxygen binding to haemoglobin thus reducing the oxygen carrying capacity of blood leading to increased blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Risk of clot formation too is increased which may lead to heart attack and stroke.
Cigarette, Smoke, Embers, Ash, Burns

Prevention :

Good news is that the bad effects of smoking can be reversed with time but for that you need to quit smoking at earliest.

2. Sedentary lifestyle :

You would have heard that, Sitting for long hours is equal to smoking. Lack of physical activity puts you in risk of many diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Improvement in technology has reduced our physical exertion . Inactivity may impact our weight leading to obesity, it also affects clotting mechanism causing clots, which all in turn affects heart.

Prevention :
  • Lead a physically active lifestyle. Develop the activity of your interest be it swimming, jogging, football etc.. 
  • Even small amounts of exercise helps in great way.

3. Stress :

Modern busy lifestyle results in stress, anxiety and many more behavioural disorders.  People who tend to be on stress , anger, anxiety more often are at increased risk of heart diseases.

grayscale photography of woman sitting on a bench

Prevention :
  • Practice yoga .
  • Use stress management techniques.
  • Set realistic goals .
  • Behavioural therapy if needed.

4. Unhealthy eating habits :

Eating processed foods more often is bad for heart as it has high salt content, preservatives.

Burger, Hamburger, Bbq, Food, Fast Food

Prevention :

  • Avoid consuming processed foods regularly. 
  • Check for labels of contents  before buying.

5. High cholesterol levels :

Normal cholesterol levels is below 200 mg/ dl. Above this range is not good for heart.

HDL ( High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is good cholesterol, the higher the HDL levels the better.

LDL cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein )is bad cholesterol.  The lower the levels , the better.

Prevention  :
  • Eat good fats like fats in nuts like almonds.
  • Lower the consumption of fried foods.
  • Avoid red meat, high fat dairy  products if your levels on higher side.

6. High blood pressure :

High blood pressure is leading cause of heart disease which includes arrhythmia, Ischaemic heart disease, Myocardial Infraction.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm of Hg. 
150/90 mm of Hg and above taken on two separate occasion is considered hypertension .

Hypertension on long term causes hardening of arteries (Atherosclerosis ) which predisposes to other heart complications.

Anatomy Of The Human Body, Big Picture

Prevention :
  • When detected with hypertension , take anti hypertensives as per doctors advice.
  • Limit the intake of salt .
7. High Sugar levels :

High levels of sugar in blood overtime causes damage to blood vessels of heart and nerves which control heart .

Diabetes, Disease, Diabetic, Health

Prevention :

  • Regular physical activity. 
  • Oral hypoglycemics as per prescription 
  • Keep sugar levels under control. 
8. Obesity :

Having a BMI greater than 25 puts in risk category of heart diseases along with others. Excess weight strains the heart . 

Weight Loss, Weight, Nutrition, Scale

Prevention :

Maintain a healthy weight. You can achieve this with balanced diet and exercises.

9. Alcohol consumption :

Heavy drinking is associated with serious health problems . Regular consumption with increased quantity may cause increased blood pressure.

Drink, Alcohol, Cup, Whiskey, The Drink

Prevention :

Limit the alcohol intake. 

10. Did you know ? 

Dental health is associated with heart health too. Periodonitis, a gum disease puts you in risk of developing heart disease. Untreated infection raise the bacterial levels in blood which affects the valves of heart. 

Zahnreinigung, Dental Repairs

Prevention  :

Maintain proper dental hygiene. 

Get proper treatment for infection.

Conclusion  :

Modifiable risk factors are the ones which can be prevented by implementing active lifestyle.  If you are genetically prone for heart disease and you lead the sedentary lifestyle you are twice at risk. Follow the preventive measures above . If you found this blog informative one , please share it with the people you care.

Thank you..


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