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Coronary heart disease

The disease sneaks up unnoticed

Coronary heart disease develops gradually and by the time it manifests itself, it usually goes very far.

For the first time, a disease manifests itself in different ways: myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, or sudden cardiac catastrophe. caused by heart rhythm disturbances. In patients with first-occurring angina pectoris, narrowings in the coronary arteries (atherosclerotic plaques) are usually found.

Plaque does not occur overnight. If you examine it under a microscope, then like the annual rings of a tree, it has a layered structure indicating age. Already in children, lipid spots are found on the inner lining of the arteries. By the age of 50 (sometimes later, sometimes earlier), the plaque can grow so much that it will impede the flow of blood to the heart muscle.

Causes of the disease

At rest or under small loads, even with constrictions in the coronary arteries, the heart muscle often does not experience oxygen starvation. The situation changes dramatically during exercise, when areas of the heart to which blood flows through the narrowed coronary arteries begin to suffer from oxygen deficiency. This leads to myocardial ischemia (hence the name of the disease – coronary heart disease). The degree of ischemia increases when a spasm of the coronary artery occurs at the site of the plaque, further narrowing the lumen of the vessel.

However, today we will not talk about the manifestations of the disease, but about what factors contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries and how to stop the development of the disease.

Among the population, myocardial infarction is surrounded by a halo of noble disease. It is believed that it is, as it were, a retribution for life and social activity, for overwork and strain. It’s even accepted to say: “brought to a heart attack”, “finalized to a heart attack”, “I almost got a heart attack”. But usually the moment of myocardial infarction is preceded by a long series of days when patients themselves created this disease. They fashioned it out of risk factors, like a swallow sculpting a nest from lumps of earth, lay down on sofas, stood at tram stops, sat at tables set up for eating, wiped out clouds of tobacco smoke, and incited their neglect of the regime of work and rest.

Doctors do not divide the disease into honorable, inconspicuous and unworthy. They proved that those with coronary disease. who doesn’t walk an extra kilometer on foot, will not put aside an extra piece of food from his plate. From medical observations and special studies, the doctrine of the risk factors for coronary heart disease was born.

Who has a higher risk of getting sick?

Of the risk factors for coronary heart disease, the most dangerous are: high blood cholesterol, persistent increase in blood pressure, the presence of diabetes mellitus, smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, frequent psycho – emotional overloads.

The discovery of one or more of the listed factors in a person does not mean that he already has coronary heart disease, but that he is predisposed to it. The more risk factors are detected in a person, the greater the likelihood of getting sick at a younger age.

The significance of each of the risk factors is ambiguous and depends on the intensity, duration and constancy of the impact of a particular factor, on their combination, on the degree to which a person is exposed to their influence.

Some examples

Risk factors are genetically determined and acquired. In most cases, not a disease is inherited, but a predisposition to it. Therefore, the hereditary nature of this or that disorder should not be perceived as something fatal, but rather, should encourage active prevention.

In rare cases, a cholesterol metabolism disorder begins in childhood. Cholesterol accumulates in tendons, skin. in the iris and in the walls of blood vessels. In these patients, coronary heart disease develops early.

In most cases, the accumulation of cholesterol in the body is the result of excess nutrition and low physical activity. Many years pass before this leads to illness. Therefore, a person has time left to withstand the harmful effects of risk factors.

A hereditary predisposition to diabetes is not in doubt. However, in most cases, if the patient observes a diet with a restriction of carbohydrates, does not overload the insular cells of the pancreas, the disease does not form, and this example shows that it is possible to withstand those risk factors that are hereditary.

Alcohol and heart

Among those who die suddenly on the street, at work, at home, there are many people suffering from coronary heart disease. But few people know that the immediate cause of the death of almost every second of the number of suddenly dead was alcohol. More often death occurs during a hangover, when the body is oversaturated with products of combustion of alcohol, which leads to severe heart rhythm disturbances.

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