Risk Factors of Ischemic Heart Disease


~heart attack (myocardial infarction)-when a part of heart muscle is permanently damaged or actually dies because there’s not enough oxygen.

~unstable angina-is an intermediary between myocardial infarction and stable angina.It’s manifestation is a severe chest pain that lasts more than stable angina and it doesn’t respond very well to medication.

~angina-is a chest discomfort which occurs when the coronary vessels receive an inadequate blood flow.

~atherosclerosis-occurs when fatty material deposite into the arteries walls. This can lead to a blockage of the arteries.

Other risk factors for ischemic heart disease are:

~hypertension (high blood pressure)- blood pressure can vary with activity and with age, but a healthy adult who is resting generally has a systolic pressure reading between 120 and 130 and a diastolic pressure reading between 80 and 90 (or below).

~diabetes-heart problems are the leading cause of death among people with diabetes, especially in the case of non-insulin-dependent diabetes also known as Type II diabetes.

~high blood cholesterol-cholesterol is a fat-like substance carried in your blood.It can be found in all of your body’s cells. The liver produces all of the cholesterol your body needs to form cell membranes and to make certain hormones. Extra cholesterol enters your body when you eat foods that come from animals (meats, eggs,and other similar products).

~obesity and overweight- extra weight leads to increased total cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Obesity increases your chances of developing other risk factors for heart disease, especially high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes.

~smoking- It’s well known that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, but few people know that it also increases the risk of heart disease and peripheral vascular disease (disease in the vessels that supply blood to the arms and legs). Smoking also raises blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke in people who already have high blood pressure.

~birth control pills-At the beginning birth control pills contained high levels of estrogen and progestin, and taking these pills increased the chances of heart disease and stroke, especially in women older than 35 who smoked. In our days the dose of hormones contained in these pills has been lowered and they are considered safe for women younger than 35, who do not smoke or have high blood pressure.

~physical inactivity- people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of heart attack than people who are not active. Exercise burns calories, may lower blood pressure and helps to control cholesterol levels and diabetes. In addition to this exercise makes the arteries more flexible and strengthens the heart muscle.

~stress- Stressful situations raise your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing your heart’s need for oxygen. The need for oxygen can cause angina pectoris, or chest pain, in people who already have heart disease.

It’s advisable that your doctor checks your risk for heart disease at least once a year by checking your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and asking whether you smoke or have a family history of heart disease. Also he can check your urine for protein, because this represents another risk factor for heart disease.