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Causes of Heart Disease

It is true that you might be fearful of developing heart disease if your parents have had it before you. Heredity is certainly a contributing factor that has been established over many scientific studies. But, you can take some comfort in the knowledge that it is only a contributing factor and is not the predominant one in determining the likelihood of suffering a similar fate yourself. In fact, you have only a one in ten chance of developing heart disease in these circumstances.

What are the Real Predictors of Heart Disease?

There is no real agreement on the list of determinants. Most medical practitioners do agree that some things like being overweight, smoking, and having a high cholesterol count are key factors in predicting heart disease.

Let's look at them in turn:

1. Smoking. Cigarettes cause the production of clot causing platelets that clog arteries and also provide the 'platform' on which cholesterol deposits can accumulate. This in turn restricts blood flow and the resultant clotting of blood is a major cause of heart disease. There are dangerous chemicals used in the production of cigarettes that facilitate the build up of arterial deposits and actually hasten the process of heart disease developing.

2. Cholesterol. Although the human body needs cholesterol, it is a known fact that we can produce all we need by natural bodily processes. When we eat food high in fat the production of cholesterol accelerates and the body ends up with an excess which is not eliminated. It is stored in the arteries and as outlined above causing blockages in the arteries, thereby resulting in a dangerous predilection to heart disease.

3. High Blood Pressure. It is obvious when you consider what has been covered in this short report that if you have blocked arteries or restricted flow in the arteries then there will be a build up in blood pressure. This simply means that there will be pressure on the walls of the arteries and will in fact weaken them leaving them more likely to rupture. If the rupture occurs in an organ such as the brain or heart, then the result can be fatal or at best result in major damage.

4. Obesity is also another major cause of heart disease. Let's face it, obesity is a natural result of overeating, or eating fatty foods, which are in themselves major contributing factors in heart disease. Being overweight is one thing but more recent studies indicate that it is equally important to consider where the fat is stored in the body. Abdominal fat is now acknowledged as a major concern and is being targeted as a prime indicator of heart disease. In simple terms, your chance of developing heart disease increases with the size of your gut.

5. Stress. Stress is one of the things doctors talk about increasingly when developing strategies to prevent heart disease. But again don't blame your parents for this either. It is usually the result of lifestyle issues, which you can address yourself.

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