Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries. Taking care of certain habits can help not some risk factors that aggravate appear.
What are cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular diseases affect the arteries of the heart and the rest of the body, especially the brain, kidneys and lower limbs. Experts in Internal Medicine say they are very serious diseases and the leading cause of death in developed countries.
Major cardiovascular diseases are myocardial infarction and stroke, among which are thrombosis, embolism and cerebral hemorrhage.
What is the cardiovascular risk
The cardiovascular risk is the probability that an individual has suffered such diseases within a certain period of time and depending on the following factors:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure causes excess strain on the heart by increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, eye problems and kidney and nervous system diseases. People with hypertension who also are obese, smoke or have high blood cholesterol levels are at increased risk of suffering from. The prevalence of hypertension is about 45% in men and 43% for women, in addition to increase with age.
- High cholesterol: occurs when the blood contains too low intensity lipoprotein (LDL, commonly known as "bad cholesterol") that accumulate on the walls of arteries, forming plaque and initiating the disease called "arteriosclerosis".
- Diabetes: heart problems are the leading cause of death among diabetics, between 50 and 80%, especially those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
- Obesity: Being overweight can raise levels of total blood cholesterol, increased blood pressure, increased risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes.
- Smoking: increases blood pressure, a fact which, in turn, increases the risk of stroke in people with hypertension. Although nicotine is the main agent snuff smoke, other chemicals contribute to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries. Also they affect cholesterol and levels of fibrinogen (a blood clotting), increasing the likelihood of creating a blood clot that can cause a heart attack.
- Sedentary lifestyle: exercise burns calories, helps control cholesterol levels and diabetes, lowers blood pressure and increases life expectancy compared to sedentary people. It also strengthens the heart muscle and makes the arteries more flexible.
- Family history of cardiovascular disease: family history pose a greater cardiovascular risk. For example, if parents or siblings suffered heart or circulation problems before 55 years.
- Age: older people have a higher risk of heart disease. About 4 out of every 5 deaths due to heart disease occur in people over 65.