Things You Need To Know About Coronary Heart Disease
At the walls of arteries can occur atherosclerosis conditions, namely the accumulation of cholesterol and other substances, such as calcium and fibrin, which form blockages or plaques in arteries. Plaque can form on artery walls even since a person is young. But as we get older, the risk of plaque formation will be higher. If not treated, over time this plaque can cause reduced arterial elasticity of the arteries and disrupt the smooth flow of blood.
The larger the plaque, the narrower the arteries of the heart, so that oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart will be less. Plaque can also be released and then block most of the blood flow to the arteries. If this blood flow obstruction occurs in the coronary arteries, a heart attack can occur.
The Things That Increase The Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease
So far, the exact cause of plaque formation in arteries is still not known with certainty. But the following things can increase a person’s risk of experiencing atherosclerosis:
Smoking is one of the most important factors in increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Smokers are predicted to have a risk of developing coronary heart disease 24% greater than nonsmokers. The content of nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes makes the heart work harder than usual. Both of these substances also increase the risk of blood clots in the arteries. Unfortunately, other chemicals in cigarettes can also damage the lining of the coronary arteries, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.
Too much cholesterol flowing in the blood can cause coronary heart disease. The type of cholesterol that makes the risk of coronary heart disease increased is low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Because, this cholesterol has a tendency to stick and accumulate in the coronary arteries.
Diabetics are predicted to have twice the risk of coronary heart disease. This is suspected because diabetics have thicker blood vessel walls. The thickness of coronary artery walls can interfere with the smooth flow of blood to the heart.
- The occurrence of blood clots
Blood clots or thrombosis that occurs in the coronary arteries will inhibit blood supply to the heart. The process of blood clots is closely related to other factors, such as inflammation, high cholesterol, uncontrolled blood sugar, and stress.
- High blood pressure
High blood pressure can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease. A person is categorized as having high blood pressure if he has systolic pressure in the range of 130 mmHg or more, or a diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg or more. Systolic pressure itself is defined as a measure of blood pressure when the heart contracts to pump blood out. While diastolic pressure is the blood pressure when the heart muscle stretches to fill blood.
Ways to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease
To minimize the risk of coronary heart disease, there are several ways you can do it, including:
- Doing regular exercise.
- Apply a healthy diet and balanced nutrition, increase fruit and vegetable intake, reduce foods that contain excess cholesterol and salt.
- Quit smoking.
- Lose weight if excessive.
- Control blood pressure.
- Control stress.
- Enough rest. Research shows that a lack of quality and hours of sleep affects the increased risk of coronary heart disease.
The danger of coronary heart disease will affect the quality of your life, it can even cause sudden death due to heart attacks. Therefore, immediately consult yourself with your doctor if you are at high risk of developing this disease, or instead have experienced symptoms of coronary heart disease, such as chest pain that appears during heavy activity or stress, shortness of breath, cold sweat, and chest pain that radiates to the arms and neck.