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Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease, or coronary heart disease, is a heart problem caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries. This causes less blood and oxygen to reach the heart.

Being that the heart is a muscle, it depends on a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to flow through the coronary arteries. When the coronary arteries become clogged by fat and cholesterol deposits and can’t supply enough blood to the heart, the result is ischemic heart disease.

There are major risk factors for developing this type of heart disease.

However, there are environmental factors that you can eliminate to reduce your chances:

• Age: A large percentage of those who die of coronary heart disease are age 65 or older.
• Gender: Typically men are at greater risk of having a heart attack than women. They also tend to have heart attacks earlier in life than women.
• Smoking: Smoking doubles the risk of a heart attack vs. a nonsmoker.
• High Blood Cholesterol: As blood cholesterol levels increase, so does the risk of coronary heart disease.
• High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure forced the heart to overexert its muscles, which causes it to enlarge and weaken over time.
• Physical Inactivity: Regular, moderate activity is beneficial for the proper circulation of blood in the body.
• Obesity: An excess amount of weight strains the heart and raises the blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
• Diabetes: The presence of diabetes has an adverse affect on the heart because diabetes directly affects cholesterol and triglyceride levels. When glucose levels are elevated, the risk of heart disease is greatly increased.

See your doctor to rule out coronary heart disease if you have several risk factors.

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