There seem not to be one single cause of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), but medical research have however, shown that a whole range of things can make you more likely to develop Coronary Heart Disease and these are the risk factors. Just like a very high speeding car is more likely to hit and crash into another car than a slower speeding car. So a person with one or more risk factors will be more likely to develop heart disease than someone without any. Though not every very high speeding car crash and not every with Coronary Heart Disease risk factors gets a heart attack, but the chances are undeniably greater.
These risk factors are divided into two groups: the non-modifiable and the modifiable factors.
The non-modifiable risk factors: are as the name implies, are those risk that we can not do anything about. They can not be altered by our lifestyle changes or medical treatments. And they include:
Age and gender: Coronary heart disease becomes more common with older age and it is the strongest predictor of coronary deaths in women. Two third of women who die from heart diseases are ages between 55 and 65 years old. Below the age of 65, it is much more common disease among men then women. This is because after menopause (a period when women menstruating).
Coronary Heart Disease becomes more common among women. It does seem likely that age different among men and women with CHD is related to estrogen hormone that disappear once menstruation stops, this hormone has a way of regulating and maintaining the effects of the Coronary Heart Disease in women. But test carried on women who are undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have shown some evidence that this can protect against heart diseases. Many doctors are recommending HRT for this reason as well as, of course for other reasons.
Family history or Genetic factor: as with age and gender, we do not choose our parents so we are stuck with our genetic history. If your father or mother had a heart attack below the age of 65, this may increase your own risk significantly, but getting it from a second or third degree relative is less likely. The reason being that the gene we inherit from our parents may make us more liable to have high cholesterol or less insulin production in our body.
It is advisable to have a medical check up from time to time with your doctor in order to reduce or treat the risk on time.
The modifiable risk factors: are the ones that can be influenced by changes in our various lifestyles such as diet, physical exercise and medical treatment. The major risk factors include smoking, raised blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of exercise. While the contributory risk factors are obesity, stress, alcoholism, raises insulin level, fibrinogen, homocysteine and some others.
The risk of you developing Coronary Heart Disease becomes greater the more risk factor you have. Some risk however has much greater effect on your chances of developing Coronary Heart Disease, for instance a smoker with high blood pressure and a raised cholesterol level has a much higher risk than a non-smoker who has these factors.
In general, Coronary Heart Disease is a disease of the affluence, it is rare in the tropics and developing countries but common in North America, northern Europe and Australia and it is more related to lifestyle.
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