Coronary artery disease is a major health disorder that could cause health complications. This is the condition in which the vessels supplying blood to your heart get damaged. It may also be because of accumulation of cholesterol or plaques in the blood vessels. The symptoms of this disease are visible in the later stages where it starts to create major health problems.
Coronary artery disease can cause decreased blood flow in the body that might cause heart failure and number of cardiovascular problems. Initially people suffer from shortness of breath which gradually results complete blockage of heart vessels. Today we will discuss about risk factors of coronary artery disease and complications associated with it. We spoke to Dr. Ashwin Gulati, Head of Cardiology, Vozart Healthcare Hospital, Bangalore.
Risk Factors of Coronary Artery Disease
There could be a number of risk factors involved with coronary artery disease that can cause major health concerns. Here are some factors you should be aware of-
1. Growing age
Getting older can increase the risk of coronary artery disease because blood vessels tend to become weak and damaged more often. People older than 60 years of age tend to get coronary artery disease more often than young generation. Also as the accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels is gradual, it takes few years to affect people. Hence older adults are at higher risk.
2. Family History
Having a family history of heart problems and cardiac arrest can be a risk factor in coronary artery disease. If your parents of relatives have gone through coronary artery disease, artery blockage or heart failure, then the chances of getting this disease increases in younger generation. This is especially more concerning when it’s through father, brother being diagnosed with one before 55 years of age.
3. Sexual orientation
Men have higher tendency to get coronary artery disease than in females. Majority of cases of coronary artery disease happen to be that of men. The cause of such orientation is not known. However women after getting menopause increase their chances of having this artery disease.
4. High Blood Pressure
Those who have higher blood pressure can also get this disease in fact it can be sign of coronary artery disease. The accumulation of plaque in blood vessels can reduce the thickness of blood vessels because of which the blood travels at higher flow. This narrowing of blood vessels and increase in blood pressure can be symptoms of coronary artery disease.
People suffering from type-2 diabetes are also associated with higher risk of coronary artery disease. This happens because of increase in blood sugar or blood pressure in the body. Also people having type-2 diabetes are obese or overweight because of which it contributes to the risk of developing this disease.
6. High levels of blood cholesterol
It is very important to maintain your cholesterol levels because of various reasons. High blood cholesterol levels can increase the risk of plaque accumulation in the arteries. It can also increase the chances of atherosclerosis and low density lipoprotein. LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol that can cause sudden heart attacks because of coronary artery disease. You must be very careful while consuming your diet.
7. Obesity or Physical Inactivity
Lack of exercise in associated with higher risk of coronary artery disease. People who do not do any physical work tend to have increased weight. Overweight and obese people tend to have more fats that get accumulated over blood vessels over the years, hence increasing the chances of complications. Excess weight can always take you to heart issues and life-threatening complications.
8. Stress and work overload
Stress seems to have become a part of our lifestyle. Stress can be because of work, social issues or family problems. Any type of stress or work overload can cause problems in the functions of the body. It also slows down your metabolism and reduces immunity. Stress has been linked to problems associated with heart in many previous studies. Therefore it can even lead you to this artery dysfunction.
9. Unhealthy Diet
Diet always plays a big role in determining the health of the person. Eating too much of saturated fats, trans fat, sugar and salt can increase the risk of coronary artery disease. This is because these nutrients get stored in your blood vessels and organs that reduce the efficiency of functions in the body. Unhealthy diet can even cause artery disease at lower ages and thus can be linked as a risk factor in plaque in blood vessels leading to heart complications.
People who tend to smoke a lot can also have coronary artery disease. This is because the smoke gets into the lungs and travels through the arteries. This makes the smoke get accumulated in the blood vessels that leads to blockage in nerves and heart dysfunctions. Even second hand smoke can increase risk of coronary artery disease because of same problems.
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