Heart disease is a general term used for various conditions and diseases of the cardiovascular system. Among them is atherosclerosis, a cardiac disease involving an excess buildup of plaque in your arteries which carry blood to your heart and throughout your body. If you have atherosclerosis, which is sometimes referred to as hardening of the arteries, it can lead to cardiac arrest or stroke.
According to The National Institutes of Health, atherosclerosis is one of the most common types of cardiovascular disease. Take note of the causes of heart disease so you can work with heart doctors to reduce your risks.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a silent killer because there are virtually no symptoms. It is a dangerous condition that can lead to many cardiovascular issues, including the development of atherosclerosis. It is one of the main causes cardiovascular disease, but it can also be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.
The main cause of atherosclerosis is the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. High cholesterol is one of the things that can damage your arteries, and leave them susceptible to atherosclerosis. People who have high levels of bad cholesterol usually follow a diet with filled with a lot of cholesterol and saturated fats. Eating a healthy diet can help you prevent this risk, as well as taking medications if your cholesterol is elevated.
Triglycerides are a type of fat, also called a lipid, that exists in your blood. When the levels get too high, it can be a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease. There is a simple blood screening test that looks at your lipid ranges, so you and your doctor can keep an eye on your triglyceride levels.
If you know you have diabetes, make sure you are managing it properly by taking medications, exercising, eating healthy, and monitoring your blood glucose levels. If you do not have diabetes, make sure you schedule routine visits with your doctor and get tested for it. High glucose levels lead to diabetes, which is a significant risk factor for cardiac disease.
If you smoke cigarettes, quit immediately. Tobacco use on a regular basis is a considerable risk to your health and can lead to atherosclerosis and other types of diseases of the cardiovascular system. The sooner you quit, the more quickly you lower your risk.
The good news is that you can prevent or delay atherosclerosis by making lifestyle changes and visiting a local Arizona cardiovascular treatment center to learn about reducing your risk for cardiac disease, as well as to receive proper ongoing care.