The phrase “heart disease” covers a number of different cardiac disorders, such as congestive heart failure, CHD, and heart valve problems. CHD is the most typical kind of heart disease. When a material called plaque accumulates and narrows the heart’s arteries, CHD develops. When an artery is totally clogged, the heart is deprived of blood, which leads to a heart attack. The main reason for death is heart disease.
Plaque builds up in the arteries and blood vessels that supply the heart, causing heart disease. This prevents vital oxygen and nutrients from getting to your heart. A waxy material known as plaque is composed of minerals, fatty acids, and cholesterol. When an artery’s inner lining is harmed by high blood pressure, smoking, or excessive cholesterol or triglycerides, plaque develops over time.
In assessing whether or not you are likely to develop heart disease, a number of risk factors are crucial. Age and genetics, two of these elements, are beyond your control. For both men and women, the risk of heart disease rises at the age of 45 and 55, respectively. If you have close relatives who have a history of heart disease, your risk may be higher.
Despite being a major cause of mortality, it is not a given. While certain risk factors, such as age, sex, and family history, cannot be changed, there are several strategies to lower your risk of heart disease. Heart specialists often discuss one of three forms of prevention: secondary, primary, or primordial prevention. Similar aspects are present in all three, but their beginnings and results differ.
1. Primary prevention
A person at risk for heart disease should practice primary prevention to avoid experiencing their first heart attack or stroke, needing an angioplasty or other type of surgery, or acquiring any other form of heart disease. People who already have cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are often the focus of primary prevention. Primary prevention, like secondary prevention, focuses on reducing these risk factors by healthy lifestyle modifications and, if necessary, drug usage.
2. Secondary prevention
These initiatives begin following a heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, bypass surgery, or the onset of another cardiac condition. It includes using drugs like aspirin and/or a statin to decrease cholesterol, stopping smoking, decreasing weight if necessary, increasing exercise, and eating a healthy diet. Secondary prevention is not “closing the barn door after the horse has left,” despite what the saying would imply.
3. Primordial prevention
Primordial refers to something that was there before everything else. By focusing on preventing the onset of inflammation, atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction, risk factors including high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol, excess weight, and eventually cardiovascular events can be avoided.
Adults with diabetes frequently get heart attacks while they are younger. If individuals have insulin resistance or high blood glucose levels, they are more prone to have numerous heart attacks. This is due to the connection between blood vessel health and glucose. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels can increase the amount of plaque that develops within blood vessel walls. The blood flow to the heart is hampered or stopped as a result.
Your risk of acquiring cardiovascular risk factors and subsequently getting heart disease can be significantly decreased by following these five key lifestyle changes:
- Avoiding all forms of tobacco usage is among the healthiest things you can do. It may slow you down, make you ill, and shorten your life. Smoking is a hard habit to kick
- Along with a number of other health issues, excess weight and a big waistline are also risk factors for heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight is necessary
- Heart disease and many other diseases and ailments may be prevented with exercise and physical activity, but as we age, many of us become less active
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils is the best one for preventing heart disease. Red and processed meats, refined carbohydrates, meals and drinks with added sugar, salt, and foods with trans fats should be avoided
- A vital aspect of cardiovascular health is sleep
Experts advise reducing cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure as additional variables for enhancing and preserving cardiovascular health in addition to these five behaviors. Heart disease treatment depends on the kind and extent of the disease. For instance, treatment options for coronary artery disease include lifestyle modifications and medication, but a pacemaker may be required for significant cardiac rhythm issues.