Risk Factors of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease which can lead to a heart attack. By changing your lifestyle and, if necessary, taking medicine, you can reduce your risk for heart disease. Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men in the U.S. Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Heart diseases include:
- Blood vessel disease or coronary artery disease
- Heart rhythm problems
- Heart defects or congenital heart defects
- Heart valve disease
- A disease of the heart muscle
- Heart infection
Symptoms of Heart Disease
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness and pressure
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back
- Fluttering in your chest
- Racing heartbeat
- Slow heartbeat
- Breathlessness with activity or at rest
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet
What are the 9 Risk Factors of Heart Disease?
- Age and sex. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and a weakened or thickened heart muscle. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease.
- Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age.
- Smoking. Nicotine tightens your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers.
- Poor diet. A diet that’s high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
- High blood pressure. It can result in the hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
- High blood cholesterol levels. Plaque formation and atherosclerosis can be exacerbated by high levels of cholesterol.
- Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other heart disease risk factors.
- Physical inactivity. Many forms of heart disease and other risk factors of the disease have also been linked to a lack of exercise.
- Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.
How to Diagnose Heart Disease?
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your personal and family medical history. The diagnostic tests depend on the condition. Testing includes:
- Holter monitoring
- Stress test
- Cardiac catheterization
- Cardiac computerized tomography scan
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Treatment for Heart Disease
The type of treatment for heart disease depends on the severity of the medications. It includes frequent checks up, medications, and lifestyle changes. Other doctors may also recommend surgery. Medications for heart disease include: