9 Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is the most common heart problem. Handling this condition is very important. If left untreated, coronary heart disease can endanger the sufferer’s life.

Coronary heart disease occurs when the heart’s blood vessels or coronary arteries become blocked due to plaque formed from fat deposits or other substances, such as calcium and fibrin. This condition is known as atheroscelosis.

Plaque can form on the walls of arteries, even when a person is young. However, as you get older, the risk of plaque formation will be higher. If left untreated, the presence of plaque can cause narrowing of the blood vessels and disrupt the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

Plaque can also block most or all of the blood flow in the arteries. If blockage of blood flow occurs in the coronary arteries, this condition can cause a heart attack.

Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease

So far, the exact cause of plaque formation in arteries is still not known for certain. However, the following factors can increase the risk of coronary heart disease:

1. Smoking habit

Smoking is one of the factors that plays the biggest role in increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. At least more than 30% of people who experience heart attacks are active smokers.

The nicotine and carbon monoxide content in cigarettes makes the heart work harder than usual. Both substances can also increase the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries.

Unfortunately, other chemicals in cigarettes can also damage the lining of the coronary arteries, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. High cholesterol

Too much cholesterol circulating in the blood can cause coronary heart disease. The types of cholesterol that increase the risk of coronary heart disease are low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or what is usually called bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.

It is this cholesterol that has a tendency to stick and accumulate in the coronary arteries.

3. Diabetes

Diabetics, especially those who do not receive treatment or whose blood sugar levels are not controlled, have a two-fold higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

This is thought to be because sufferers of this disease have a thicker layer of blood vessel walls. Thick coronary artery walls can interfere with the smooth flow of blood to the heart.

4. Blood clots

Blood clots or thrombosis that occur in the coronary arteries will block the blood supply to the heart. The process of blood clots occurring is closely related to other factors, such as the inflammatory process, high cholesterol levels, uncontrolled blood sugar, and stress.

5. High blood pressure

High blood pressure can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease. A person is categorized as having high blood pressure if they have a systolic pressure of more than 140 mmHg or more and a diastolic pressure of 90 mmHg or more.

Systolic pressure itself is defined as a measure of blood pressure when the heart contracts to pump blood throughout the body. Meanwhile, diastolic pressure is blood pressure when the heart muscle stretches to receive return blood flow from various organs in the body.

6. Obesity

The risk factor for coronary heart disease can also increase due to obesity. This condition can increase bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol levels. In fact, good cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease, including coronary heart disease.

Apart from that, blood pressure in people who are obese also tends to be higher. This is because people who are overweight need more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body. That is why obesity is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

7. Genetic factors

People who have families with coronary heart disease are more susceptible to this disease. There is research that shows that there are gene variants that are common in people with coronary heart disease. This gene variant plays an important role in controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

However, this genetic factor does not mean that you will definitely get coronary heart disease, because this also depends on your lifestyle.

8. Rarely exercise

Rarely exercising can increase the risk of coronary hearts disease. A body that rarely moves can lose its ability to convert fat into energy, resulting in fat accumulation. This can increase the amount of bad cholesterol which can trigger coronary hearts disease.

9. Alcohol addiction

Consuming too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and increase fatty substances flowing in the blood (triglycerides). Both of these things can cause blockages in the heart’s blood vessels, thereby increasing the risk of coronary hearts disease.

After knowing the factors that can increase the risk of coronary hearts disease, you need to stay away from these factors as much as possible in order to avoid coronary heart disease.

To minimize the risk of developing coronary hearts disease, there are several things you can do, such as exercising regularly, stopping smoking, maintaining your diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and getting enough rest.

The dangers of coronary hearts disease can affect your quality of life. If the coronary arteries are completely blocked, this can cause a heart attack. Therefore, check with your doctor regularly if you are at high risk of developing this disease.

You are also advised to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of coronary hearts disease, such as chest pain that appears during heavy activity or stress, shortness of breath, cold sweat, and chest pain that spreads to the arms and neck.

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