Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Risk Factors for Ischemic Heart Disease

By Barb Hicks

Narrowed coronary arteries cause a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This ailment is also referred to as Ischemic Heart Disease. The reason for the narrowed arteries is cholesterol deposits sticking to the artery wall, thus creating a blockage that hampers the free flow of blood to the heart. These deposits harden and cause the arteries to harden as well. The medical term used to describe this is atherosclerosis. In addition, this term is most often interchangeable with arteriosclerosis. Both of these ailments are identical in that they both prevent blood flow from reaching the heart.

High cholesteril and triglyceride levels are what creates the placque buildup or arteriosclerosis. When this occurs, blockage occurs in the blood vessels which are the life giving forces that feed the heart. Once this has occurred, the blockage to the heart will result in heart attack symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and irregular heart beat. However, if heart disease was already present, the patient will not feel these symptoms as the nerves surronding the heart have already been damaged.

As time passes, plaque deposits narrow the arteries causing inefficient blood flow, which can also lead to the development of a type of Ischemic heart disease called angina. Angina Pectoris, or strangling, is chest pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart due to poor blood supply. This puts the patient at an extremely high risk for heart attack and cardiac arrhythmia.

People who are at risk for ischemic heart disease most likely have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. The risks, in most instances, can be alleviated or eliminated altogether by drastic changes in lifestyle such as losing weight and stopping smoking. While these changes may reduce risks, they do not necessarily cure ischemic heart disease that is already present. If the person has had a previous heart attack, they have an increased risk for having another heart attack within 5 years. Regular visits with your physician to monitor any changes in the patient's condition will alert the physician to any potential problems that may crop up and slow down the rate of disease progression.

There is good news regarding ischemic heart disease. It is able to be prevented or its severity lessened with proper healthcare and lifestyle changes. Though these changes may seem a daunting task after being set in your ways for twenty to thirty years, the results of these changes are well worth the effort.

About the Author:

No comments: