Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is associated with disease of the heart and blood vessels. Coronary heart Disease (CHD) is the most common form and is caused by deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels.

It usually develops slowly over many years beginning from childhood, they may form a fatty streak to a fibrous complicated plaque. It leads to the narrowing of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis in the large and medium sized arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygen. It leads to sudden ischemia ( deficient blood supply to heart muscle) and myocardial infarction ( death of heart muscle tissue).

Risk factors:

Hypercholesterolemia ( High blood cholesterol) and high blood pressure ( Hypertension) are the major causes and contributing factors for heart disease and if untreated may cause severe damage to brain, kidney and eventually lead to stroke.

Causes:

Heredity (family history), diet rich in saturated fat and cholesterol, obesity, increasing age, cigarette smoking, emotional stress, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption and physical inactivity are some of the causes.

Symptoms:

Shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, dizziness, chest pain, swelling of leg, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Prevention and control of Heart Disease

Diet Management:

Reduction in the intake of calories, low saturated fat and cholesterol rich food, low carbohydrates and common salt are some of the dietary modifications. Diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is essential. Increase in the intake of fibre diet, fruits and vegetables, protein, minerals and vitamin are required.

Physical Activity:

Regular exercise, walking and yoga are essential for body weight maintenance.

Addictive substance avoidance:

Alcohol consumption and smoking are to be avoided.

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