Chronic Diseases: Heart Disease Essay

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Chronic Diseases: Heart Disease Ron Sturdivant Principles of Health and Wellness SCI/162 December 17, 2011 Carmetta Holmes Heart disease is a wide-ranging term referring to various problems that affect the heart. The various heart problems include heart infections, diseases of the blood vessels (coronary artery disease), heart defects a person is born with (congenital heart defects) and heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). The most frequent condition coronary artery disease, which accounts for 30% of all deaths, is caused by blockages in the blood vessels causing the vessels to narrow and limit the nutrients needed to feed the heart. The cholesterol containing substance that blocks blood vessels is called arterial plaque which forms on the inner walls of arteries. A clogged artery greatly increases the possibility of a heart attack and stroke. Heart disease is the primary cause of death and most people are not diagnosed with coronary artery disease until after condition deteriorates to the point of a heart attack or stroke. The symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain or discomfort, difficulty breathing, dizziness or fainting, nausea, sweating or “cold sweats,” and rapid or irregular heartbeats knowing these symptoms can be the difference between life and death. There are many risk factors associated with heart disease. Some of which are a person’s age, family history, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity, smoking, high blood cholesterol, and stress. As a person grows older years of plaque build-up will narrow arteries. A close relative with heart disease at a young age will increase an individual’s risk of developing the disease and early monitoring is needed. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage arteries causing them to harden and restrict blood flow. Lack of physical activity and poor diet can lead to

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