Coronary Heart Disease Facts

Coronary heart disease is also medically termed as atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which the blood vessels specially the arteries responsible for carrying oxygen to the heart muscle are blocked by accumulations of plaque. If people are in an early stage of coronary heart disease, probably have no symptoms, and their doctor may not even be able to tell that they have the disease. But later on, when the disease has developed over the course of many years, it can cause sudden death because the arteries can not get enough blood to the heart muscle to keep it functioning. Coronary heart disease in fact ranks among the top causes of death for men and women.

There is no single reason of coronary heart disease. Doctors and researchers however, have recognized certain risk factors that can heighten the risk that people may have this deadly disease. The important risk factors of coronary heart disease include high cholesterol, obesity, family history, smoking, and high blood pressure. While people can not change their family history, they may be able to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by controlling some of the other risk factors. There are several key steps to reduce the risks.

Firstly people need to see their doctor for a cholesterol test and angiogram; if they are concerned about the risk of coronary heart disease must start by seeing their doctor. The doctor should firstly take an angiogram, which measures the heart's activity, and order a blood test that will measure the cholesterol levels. If the total cholesterol is over 200 mg/dl, people should take steps to reduce it. Exercise and healthy diet plan are the best means to reduce total cholesterol. Most of the doctors now recommend 30 minutes of aerobic exercise like jogging, walking, swimming, or bicycling, daily or even 5 days a week. If people smoke, they should quit now. Smoking is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease as well as for lung cancer.

Some facts about the disease indicate that a low-dose aspirin every day can reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease. People should reduce their dietary consumption of animal fats, especially from red meat. Reducing the consumption of animal fat will reduce the dietary cholesterol, which in turn should reduce the blood cholesterol. People also need to increase their dietary consumption of fresh fruits and whole grains. Increasing the consumption of fruits and whole grains will also help to reduce the blood cholesterol. In addition to the key restraining steps above, some doctors now think that drinking alcohol in moderation can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. People may actually want to have a drink or a glass of red wine each evening. Doctors now have measured two different kinds of cholesterol, HDL or "good" cholesterol, and LDL or "bad" cholesterol. Depending on the results of the blood cholesterol level, the doctor may recommend that the patient should increase their HDL cholesterol level and decrease their LDL cholesterol level. By following the above steps as mentioned, together with the doctor's advice, it is very likely that people can reduce their risk of succumbing to this killer disease.