Heart Disease Causes

Heart Disease: Causes

Top Causes

1. Smoking

There is an impression among a sizable section of population that cancer is the prime life threatening disease that is caused by smoking. This impression is true, but only partly, for smoking is equally responsible for causing a series of heart conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and strokes. In fact, smoking causes 40 percent of deaths from cardiovascular diseases. A series of researches over a long period of time have proved beyond doubt that smoking significantly increases the risk of dying of a heart attack, with some researchers concluding that smokers are under 40 percent greater risk of dying of a heart attack as compared to non-smokers.

2. High alcohol consumption

Excess alcohol intake is a prime cause of hypertension we see in people. WHO estimates say that almost 2 out of 3 strokes and 50 percent of heart attacks are a result of high blood pressure. High alcohol consumption should be avoided by anyone wishing to steer clear of the double whammy of high blood pressure and heart disease. As to what amount of alcohol intake be considered high and cause of hypertension, research is yet to give us an exact per day figure, so to be on the safer side, keep the alcohol consumption a bare minimum. 

3. Improper diet

Today’s food choices contain a lot of saturated fat and hydrogenated oil. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, hard to dissolve and get struck in the arteries. Any excess amount of this fat and your liver will produce more cholesterol than you need. All this is an open invitation to heart diseases. Similarly, hydrogenated oils or trans fats are produced through a process called hydrogenation, which are solid at room temperature. Thus, hydrogenated oils are again saturated fats. To prevent heart disease, it’s essential that the consumption of saturated fat is limited to less than 10 percent of total calories ingested per day. 

4. Low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables

The nutritional value of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables is very high; benefits of eating them regularly are numerous. And it is well established today that people who consume plant foods regularly are at lower risk of heart disease compared to those who don’t eat enough plant foods. Also, fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, which protect plants from microbial invasions. When ingested through plant products, these phytochemicals protect humans against many diseases, including heart diseases.

5. Lack of physical activity

Studies after studies have proved beyond doubt that physically active people have almost half the risk of heart attacks than people who lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. Thus, the need for maintaining an active every day schedule for the sake of good health cannot be overstated. Regular exercise is a very important tool for keeping our heart healthy. At least 30 minutes of brisk physical activity every day, something as uncomplicated as brisk walking for 30 minutes, can help us prevent heart disease. 

6. Obesity

While there is a persistent controversy as to who is to be termed overweight, however, on one point, there is unanimity, and that is, being overweight is bad for your heart. While a direct correlation between obesity and coronary heart disease still requires a little more research validity, it has been proved, however, that body fat distribution is playing a major role in the occurrence of coronary heart disease. And it’s easy to understand that an obese person will have a lot of fat on his/her body. Also, left ventricular hypertrophy is very common in patients with obesity. 

7. Stress

Today, we have reached a situation where one or the other symptom of stress can be detected in almost 80 percent of the population. Stress is a stepping stone for various other problems including hypertension, which in turn is a big risk factor for heart disease. Stress and tension of any kind reduces our capacity to adapt to our ever changing environment and causes all sorts of health related issues. Thus, fighting stress, refusing to succumb to it, through relaxation techniques and meditation, can help us prevent heart complications arising out of a stressful existence. 

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