Heart disease is also called cardiopathy. It is a term used for a wide variety of diseases affecting the heart. As of the year 2007, heart attacks are the primary cause of death in England, Canada, the United States and Wales.
According to United States statistics, different heart diseases kill an average of one person every 34 seconds. Heart attacks cause more than 12 million deaths around the world according to WHO (World Health Organization). More than 459,000 people in the United States die of this disease each year while there are about 101,000 deaths in the United Kingdom.
There are different types of this disease. The most common is called "Coronary Heart Disease". This disease affects the person's arteries and is caused by the buildup of atheromatuos plaques inside the arteries walls that provide the myocardium. Myocardial infraction or heart attack. Angina pectoris or chest pains are just some of the major conditions and symptoms caused by this type of disease.
Heart disease has numerous forms of complications such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, valvular disease and rheumatic disease. There are many causes of this disease which are called risk factors. These risk factors are separated into 2 principal categories, namely (1) major and (2) contributing factors. The major risk factors are those proven to increase the risk of heart attack. On the other hand, contributing risk factors are those physicians think can eventually lead to increased heart attack risk although the exact roles of the factors still remain undefined. Some of the risk factors can be modified, treated or changed while some cannot. You can reduce the risk of having a heart attack if you can control almost all the risk factors which are possibly done by changing your lifestyle.
People with hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity are highly at risk of having a heart attack. The same goes with people who smoke and have sedentary lifestyles. In terms of gender, males have a higher risk of having heart attacks than females though this difference narrows after females reach their menopausal stage.
People over the age of 65 also have a high risk of developing heart disease. In addition, hereditary factors contribute to the possibility of having a heart attack since people with a family history of heart disease are more likely to also acquire the disease.
Contributing factors of heart disease are stress, sex hormones, birth control pills and alcohol intake. It is not too late or too early to begin taking care of your heart. You can start by eliminating some of the risk factors and by managing those beyond your control. This way, you can reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
Heart attacks and stroke in women are usually caused by factors such as high triglyceride levels, excessive alcohol intake and individual response to stress which may lead to overeating and smoking. Whether you are a man or a woman, the best way to prevent heart disease is to eat a balanced diet, exercise, control high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels as well as to control weight, control diabetes, quit smoking and to manage stress.