Is Heart Disease Ahead? 5 Causes
Heart disease. Not something you need to worry about, right? Heart disease affects other people, older people, people who eat red meat every day without fail, but surely not you. Right? Wrong. The fact is, 26.6 million adults in the United States are affected by heart disease. So if you don’t already have it, you may develop it or know someone else who will be affected by it. In other words, it’s time to learn the top five causes of heart disease and know how to prevent it. Knowing this information just may save your life.
- High cholesterol – Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. It is important to know that high cholesterol carries no symptoms, so you may have it and not know it.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol). High LDL cholesterol leads to a buildup of cholesterol in arteries. If your LDL level is high, you are more likely to develop heart disease.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (good cholesterol). HDL carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. The liver removes the cholesterol from your body. If your HDL level is high, you are less likely to develop heart disease.
No clue what your cholesterol levels are? It’s time to see your doctor and have your cholesterol checked to help fight against heart disease.
- Smoking – We all know smoking is bad for you. But just how bad? According to the American Heart Association, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause for premature death in the United States. It’s time to snuff those little sticks out. Smoking by itself increases the risk of heart disease. Smoking in association with other factors greatly increases that risk. It increases blood pressure, increases the tendency for blood to clot, and lowers your exercise tolerance. The more people smoke and the longer they smoke, the more likely they are to have a heart attack.
- High blood pressure – What is it? Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.
Like high cholesterol, high blood pressure may not have symptoms. But sometimes it does. Here are a few to watch out for:
Ear noise or buzzing
Nausea and vomiting
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
- Obesity – Ah, obesity. Yet another health buzzword. And yes, obesity carries with it a host of health risks and problems. One of them just so happens to be heart disease. People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart failure. And the risk rises even higher for those considered to be obese. Keep in mind that nearly 31 percent of Americans are considered obese. So if you are obese, even if you happen to be completely healthy otherwise, obesity alone carries a significant risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes – People who have diabetes have twice the risk for heart disease. In addition, heart disease can start before the age of 30 in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, damage to the coronary arteries is two to four times more likely in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population. This includes people with type 1 diabetes that show no other signs of heart disease. In other words, if you have diabetes, you should discuss heart problems with your doctor and discuss how to keep yourself healthy, even if you don’t think you are not at risk for heart disease.