Heart Disease

By: Shelby Taylor

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a term for any disorder that affects the heart. It is similar to Cardiac disease but heart disease only refers to the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death.

The causes of Heart Disease.

Heart disease can be caused by an unhealthy diet because eating to much fast food can increase high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which is a risk factor of heart disease. Not enough exercise is also a cause of heart disease. Whether you have a good diet or not, you're still at risk of having a heart attack due to lack of exercise. Over weight is a cause to because you have lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet which are both causes of heart disease. Another cause is smoking. Smoking is a big risk factor of heart disease because when you breathe in smoke from a cigarette it increases your blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance, and increases the tendency for a blood clot. Smoking can also increase risk of recurrent coronary heart disease after bypass surgery.

Treatments for Hearts Disease.

Surgery is a treatment for heart disease. One surgery you could get is stents. Stents are small tubes used to treat weakened or narrow arteries. Stents are used to open narrow arteries and reduce symptoms such as chest pain. Also to treat a heart attack. Stents are usually used in a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty. The procedure only takes about an hour minimum and there are risk to the surgery such as a blood clot can form in the stent and cause it to suddenly narrow or block it completely. That is why patients who have this surgery have to take blood-thinning drugs after the surgery.

Another treatment is angioplasty. It is a non-surgical procedure that can be used to open blocked heart arteries. A thin plastic tube is inserted in an artery and then a catheter is navigated through the heart's chambers, valves, and major vessels. Once the catheter is move into the artery with the blood clot a interventional procedure will be performed depending on the doctor's decision.

Heart bypass surgery can be a treatment. It is used to treat arteries that are blocked. The blood may be given a new route to the heart. A blood vessel is removed and placed where there is a narrowing artery in order to bypass blockages and get the blood to flow to the heart. The blood vessels used for grafts depend on the size of the blood clot. Blood vessels used to substitute are usually from the chest, legs, or arms.

Who is most affected by Heart Disease?

Heart disease is the leading cause in both men and women. Heart disease is thought as a "man's disease" but about the same number of men and women get it. Many of men and women get heart disease even with no warning signs. For men at about age 45 the risk begins to become bigger as you get older. For women the risk starts to become bigger ten years after men. Younger people are becoming more at risk because of diabetes or childhood obesity.