Your heart is like an engine that keeps your body going. Just like a car stops when its engine is impacted, your body also becomes prone to many conditions when the heart is impacted. This impact on the heart can be caused due to many reasons, and ageing is one of them. The inevitable changes that come with ageing profoundly impact the heart, affecting its blood vessels.
Functioning Of The Heart
The heart is the size of a clenched fist with two sides, each with an atrium at its top and a ventricle at its bottom. To transport oxygen, the right side pumps blood to the lungs. Blood loaded with oxygen is drawn from the lungs by the left side, which then circulates via the body's arteries. The chambers of the heart are coordinated in their contraction by an electrical system, which also regulates the heart rate, also known as the pulse.
Effects Of Ageing On Heart
With ageing, the heart may not function as well as it does when you are younger. The effects of ageing are as follows.
Increased Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure may increase as a result of heart ageing. Due to high blood pressure, the blood vessels can harden and lose their elasticity, increasing the chances of blockage. This happens as the blood flow, and oxygen to the heart is reduced, which leads to heart disease.
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Hardening Of Heart
Along with this, the heart muscles get stiff, making it tougher to pump blood, especially when you do physical exercise.
Ageing impacts the rate by which the food is digested. The metabolic rate slows down significantly as you age, increasing the risk of weight gain. Weight gain is one of the risk factors for heart-related problems. Weight, if not managed properly, can lead to obesity, giving rise to problems like diabetes and hypertension, which are risk factors for heart problems.
Narrowing Blood Vessels
Narrowing blood vessels is also called atherosclerosis, for which ageing is one of the factors. In this condition, there is a restriction in the blood flow to the heart. This happens because of plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries.
Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Change in heart rhythm is another effect ageing has on the heart. This condition is also called atrial fibrillation, which is the leading cause of stroke in seniors. In atrial fibrillation, blood clots can form, which could move to the brain, leading to stroke.
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Another effect of ageing on the heart is chest pain, which is caused by reduced blood to the heart temporarily. This condition is also known as angina.
Congestive Heart Failure
In older adults, congestive heart failure is fairly prevalent. Congestive heart failure occurs 10 times more frequently in those over 75 of age than in younger adults.
The most important thing is to work on preventive methods for heart disease. One should go for regular checkups and catch the problem at an early stage. It is essential to work on the preventable risk factors of heart disease, like smoking, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
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