The most common heart disease is coronary heart disease. This disease occurs , when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked by plaque in the heart’s blood vessels or coronary arteries.
At the arterial wall can occur atheroscelosis conditions, namely cholesterol buildup and other substances, such as calcium and fibrin, which form blockages or plaques in the arteries. Plaques can form on the walls of the arteries even since a person is young. But as you get older, the risk of plaque formation will be even higher. If left untreated, over time this plaque can cause reduced arterial blood vessel elastity and disrupt the smooth flow of blood.
The bigger the plaque, the narrower the arteries of the heart, the less oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart. Plaque can also be released and then clog most of the entire blood flow in the arteries. If this blood flow barrier occurs in the coronary arteries, a heart attack can occur.
Things That Increase the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
So far, the exact cause of plaque formation in arteries is still not known with certainty. But some of the following can increase a person’s risk of experiencing atherosclerosis:
Smoking is one of the factors that most contribute to the increased risk of coronary heart disease . Smokers are predicted to have a 24% greater risk of coronary heart disease than non-smokers. The content of nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes makes the heart work harder than usual. Both substances also increase the risk of blood clots in the arteries. Unfortunately, other chemicals in cigarettes can also damage the lining of the coronary arteries, thus increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol that flows too much in the blood can cause coronary heart disease. The type of cholesterol that increases the risk of coronary heart disease is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol. Because, this cholesterol has a tendency to stick and accumulate in the coronary arteries.
Diabetics are predicted to have a two-fold higher risk of coronary heart disease. This is suspected because diabetics have thicker blood vessel walls. The thickness of the coronary artery wall can interfere with the smooth flow of blood to the heart.
The occurrence of blood clots
Blood clots or thrombosis that occurs in the coronary arteries will inhibit blood supply to the heart. The process of blood clotting is closely related to other factors, such as inflammatory processes, high cholesterol levels, uncontrolled blood sugar, and stress .
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 he has systolic pressure in the range of 130 mmHg or more, or diastolic pressure of 80 mmHg or more. Systolic pressure alone is defined as a measure of blood pressure when the heart contracts to pump blood out. While diastolic pressure is blood pressure when the heart muscle stretches to fill the blood.
How to prevent coronary heart disease
To minimize the risk of coronary heart disease, there are several ways you can do, including:
- Do regular exercise .
- Apply a healthy diet and balanced nutrition, increase intake of fruits and vegetables, reduce foods that contain cholesterol and excess salt.
- Quit smoking.
- Lose weight if it’s excessive.
- Control blood pressure.
- Control stress .
- Enough rest. Research shows that lack of quality and hours of sleep affect the increased risk of coronary heart disease.
The danger of coronary heart disease will affect your quality of life, it can even cause sudden death due to a heart attack. Therefore, immediately consult with a doctor if you are at high risk of this disease, or even have experienced symptoms of coronary heart disease, such as chest pain that arises during heavy activity or stress, shortness of breath, cold sweat, and chest pain that radiates to the arms and neck .