What is the most important human organ? Is it the brain or the lungs? Or maybe it is the heart? Actually, there’s no correct answer to this question. However, physically and romantically speaking, our human engine can definitely be considered as the most vital organ. The heart muscle’s purpose is to pump blood, thus delivering it to every other organ in your body. That’s why it is so important to keep your heart and vessels healthy.
More than 16 million Americans have coronary heart disease. And that is only one of many diseases related to the circulatory system. There are many risks associated with such illnesses. Today, we gathered the most common ones to raise awareness and help you reduce chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Non-modifiable risk factors
1. The one most obvious risk is age. Our blood vessels and arteries can become damaged, as well as heart muscle can weaken over time.
2. According to gender statistics, men are typically at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, women’s risk increases after menopause.
3. Heredity is also something you can do nothing about. If one of your parents developed heart disease, especially at an early age, it greatly increases the risk of having troubles with your heart as well.
Modifiable risk factors
1. You’ve heard it many times already: “Smoking kills.” But what impact does it have on our cardiovascular system? Carbon monoxide can damage your blood vessels’ lining, while nicotine greatly constricts them. Because of the damage and pressure, the vessels become more susceptible to atherosclerosis.
2. An unhealthy diet is as crucial as smoking can be in developing heart disease. It is estimated that approximately 31% of coronary heart disease cases were caused by the high saturated fat diet. Almost 11% of stroke incidents occurred because of the same reason. Doctors recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as wholegrain cereals.
3. Infamous high cholesterol is also responsible for many cases of heart disease. High levels of cholesterol in blood can cause formation of plaques in your arteries, which can lead to such life-threatening diseases as coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, heart attack, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), etc.
4. According to multiple studies, it is not just excess weigh that increases the risk of developing heart disease but also your waist size can surely add to it. It was estimated that you are at greater risk if you have a waist over 37in (for men) or over 32in (for women). Such people may also develop Type 2 diabetes, another risk factor of heart disease.
5. Physical inactivity can not only add to your weight but also decrease the heart health. A recent study by the World Health Organization showed that around 60% of the global population isn’t active enough.
6. Surprisingly, poor hygiene can also provoke the development of cardiovascular issues. However, the logic behind this is simple: Poor hygiene increases the risk of viral and bacterial infections which, in some cases, turn out to be heart infections.
7. Chronically stressful life, full of anxiety and depression definitely can cause tons of diseases and, of course, heart and arteries related conditions.
How to reduce the risk?
What can you do to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases and feel better overall? There are lots of things you can do:
- don’t smoke;
- control your blood pressure and levels of cholesterol regularly;
- 30 minutes of exercise per day is an absolute minimum;
- maintain a healthy diet that is low on saturated fats and salt;
- learn to manage stress;
- maintain proper personal hygiene.
We hope that you found this article useful. If you have any doubts or symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor. Take care and stay healthy!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.