“h The nature of Coronary Heart Disease. What is it?
“h The Global distribution of Coronary Heart Disease.
“h The likely causes for this – include diet, smoking, lack of exercise as a minimum.
For the heart to function properly, your heart needs a steady supply of oxygen from the blood, which flows through the coronary arteries, to the heart muscle. Coronary heart disease is a term used to describe the condition when the supply is blocked by fatty deposits or a thrombosis.
The arteries become blocked due to a build up of fatty material in the lining. This causes the artery to become narrower, then the heart must pump harder to force the blood through. This causes the blood pressure to rise.
There are three classifications of Coronary heart disease.
If the coronary arteries become partly blocked, the person may experience chest pains brought on by exertion, which desist when resting again. This form of coronary heart disease is known as angina pectoris. The pain is caused by the shortage of blood to the heart muscles. With this form of coronary heart disease there is no death of the muscle tissue.
If the arteries become completely blocked by a thrombus, this will cause a myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack. During a heart attack the lack of oxygen being pumped to the heart causes the heart muscle to die, and can also be fatal. Although many people survive with immediate medical attention.
The other type of coronary heart disease is heart failure. This is the blockage of the main coronary artery, which leads to the gradual damage of the heart muscles. When this occurs, the heart will become weaker and weaker until it eventually stops pumping blood around the body efficiently.
Coronary heart disease was unknown before the 20th century. The main reason for this is most probably because the majority of people died of something else before they could die of coronary heart disease. Usually some kind of infectious disease.
Coronary Heart Disease is more prominent in developed countries. The main reasons for this are stress, bad diets, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking. In developed countries we are more used to taking the bus or using a car rather than walking or cycling to where we want to get to. With increasing obesity we are also getting an increase of coronary heart disease.
The distribution across the United Kingdom varies. For example, the people in the UK most likely to get coronary heart disease are those in the north west of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Manual workers are at a higher risk than those who have desk jobs are. South Asians in the UK are more likely get coronary heart disease than any other ethnic group. Men are also at greater risk than women are.
The most common way for coronary heart disease start is when the coronary arteries become blocked by a build up of fatty deposits, known as cholesterol. The deposits form plaques in the lining of the artery, which narrows the arteries. Also making them less elastic. The narrowing of the arteries is called arteriosclerosis. This occurs when the lining is damaged, most likely due to high blood pressure. These breaks are taken over by phagocytes. These growth factors that stimulate the growth of smooth muscle cells.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance made from the saturated fat that you eat. It is essential for cells to stay healthy. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol through the body, in the blood stream. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) take cholesterol from the liver, and take it to the cells, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry excess cholesterol back to the liver.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the one that tends to build up on the walls of the arteries. If your level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is too high, the high-density lipoproteins will not be able to remove the cholesterol sufficiently and you will be at risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Thrombosis (blood clots) can also cause the coronary arteries to narrow, putting you at risk of heart attack. Coronary thrombosis occurs when blood turns from a liquid form to a solid form, creating a clot in one of the coronary arteries and stopping blood supply from getting to the heart muscle. Coronary thrombosis usually occurs at the site of existing arteriosclerosis.
Agerisk increase with age. Although coronary heart disease can begin in early life
Sexmales at a much higher risk than women (women protected by oestrogen until menopause, but will still be protected if they have HRT)
Weightbeing overweight or obese will increase your chances
Diethigh intake of animal (saturated) fats means high risk of coronary heart disease.
Blood cholesterolhigh blood cholesterol levels results in high risk of coronary heart disease.
High blood pressurehigh blood pressure causes higher risk of coronary heart disease.
Smokingcombines with the other factors. Most common factor. Multiplies risk of getting coronary heart disease.
Exercisemore exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Hereditysome families are at higher risk than others are
Diabetesdiabetics have higher risk
Alcoholexcessive drinking causes high blood pressure, increase risk of atheroslerosis. Moderate intake can be protective.
Social classheart disease more likely to occur among manual workers
The way to prevent getting coronary heart disease is to limit your intake of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and to keep you intake of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol high. Ways you can do this include:
“h Reducing the amount of food we eat containing saturated fat, as the body turns this fat into low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
“h Avoiding excessive intake of egg yolks, most meats, such as pork, lamb, beef and veal, also butter, full fat milk and cream cheeses.
“h Eating more pea, lentils, beans, and oats will also help to lower cholesterol as they contain fibre.
“h Eat more vegetables, pulses, cereals, and fruit.
“h Higher intake of anti-oxidant vitamins, such as vitamins C and E. These vitamins can prevent saturated fat being converted into cholesterol by your body.
“h Nuts, like Brazil nuts are rich in selenium. This protects the body from tissue damage, like that damage causes by a myocardial infarction
“h Exercising is also very important. As well as being able to control your weight, also has been proven to increase the body’s levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Which in its turn keeps your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels down. Walking and swimming are two of the best forms of exercise.
“h Eat more oily fish like kippers, pilchards, trout, herring, sardines, mackerel and salmon. These fish contain oils that can lessen the risk of thrombosis.
“h If you are a smoker, the most important thing to do to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease is to stop smoking. Smoking is the major cause of coronary thrombosis in people under 50 years old