A heart disease can affect anyone, irrespective of age. The serious, chronic condition can restrict you from enjoying an active life. In fact, most people who fall prey to heart disease have had to deal with a heart condition first. Knowing the causes and risk factors can help in preventing heart disease. This article discusses about how do you get a heart disease.
How Do You Get Heart Disease?
Many people commonly wonder about how do you get heart disease. While there are many factors that affect the way you get heart disease, many dietary and lifestyle factors contribute to the building up of risk factors. This is a long process and years of dietary habits add up to the heart risks.
Some of the common conditions that can trigger heart risks and determine how do you get a heart disease include:
- High fat content and cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- High sugar content in the blood owing to diabetes or insulin resistance
- Inflammation of the blood vessel1
When discussing how do you get a heart disease, it is important to consider the major risk factors. There are some variables that are beyond your control. However, there are some, which can be modified and treated. It is essential to know which high risk category you fall into.
Some of the factors and risk due to which you can get heart disease that cannot be changed include the following:
Age: Most men over 45 and women above 55 are likely to develop heart disease as opposed to younger people. The American Heart Association (AHA) reveals that 83% of people who die because of coronary heart disease have crossed the age of 65.2 This is because plaque accumulates in the arteries from childhood. When you grow older, these symptoms become more pronounced.
Sex: Studies have revealed that men are more prone to heart attacks as compared to women.3 Men experience them early on in life. In fact, most women risk dying from heart disease after menopause.
Family history: If some of your family members have a history of heart disease, you also run the risk of developing it. If your mother, father or sibling developed heart disease early, the risk of you developing it increases. However, developing heart disease is not necessarily part of your DNA. Lifestyle habits from each generation can be curbed.
Race: Race can predetermine if you run the risk of heart disease. Studies reveal that African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians and native Hawaiians may be more probe to develop heart disease as compared to Caucasians.4 However, this could result from the fact that these communities are more exposed to risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Here are some causes that suggest how do you get heart disease. As these factors can be modified or treated, timely action can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Obesity – Obesity increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes as it mainly affects the metabolism.5 Being overweight or obese also increases the workload on the heart and other organs. Reducing weight and following medical advice is important to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- High blood pressure – High blood pressure is a risky form of heart disease and is usually a result of prolonged elevation of blood pressure. When blood pressure remains high for extended periods, it can eventually alter the muscular structure of the heart and also damage the blood vessels. This increases the risk of cardio vascular problems and can also cause heart failure.
- High cholesterol – High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors of heart disease.6 It can cause hardening of the arteries, which can then lead to blocked coronary arteries. This will result in chest pain, or worse, a heart attack. Excess blood cholesterol is hence dangerous and can be managed with diet, exercise and appropriate medications.
- Diabetes – Diabetes, which is characterized by excess blood sugar levels, increases the risk of other metabolic disorders too. Faulty diet, lack of exercise and poor weight management contribute to diabetes and eventually increase the risk of heart disease.
- Smoking – Cigarettes contain a good amount of carcinogens that are known to cause heart disease. The substances like nicotine, present in the cigarette are usually absorbed and make their way to the blood stream. Nicotine has the capacity to damage the blood vessels, cause clotting and affect the heart valves. This is one of the ways how you get heart disease and in the long run increase the risk of heart attack.7
- Stress – While some of the physical stress, in the form of aerobic conditioning, helps to keep the heart functioning well, excess emotional stress can be dangerous for the heart. It is found that prolonged emotional stress can be one of the causes how you get heart disease. It may be due to prolonged illness, grief or sudden emotional trauma. Stress causes an adrenaline rush that can cause the blood to thicken more easily or affect the functioning of the heart.8 This too is one of the important ways how you get heart disease.
So, for those wondering how do you get heart disease, these are some of the important risks and causes. Identifying them and seeking timely medical advice can prevent heart diseases or help to manage them well so as to prevent complications.
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