Ischemic Heart Disease

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Risk Factors

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Ischemic heart disease doesn’t have exact known causes, but there are certain risk factors that must be taken into consideration as for example age, heredity, smoking, diabetes or obesity.

Age increases dramatically the risk of ischemic heart disease; studies have shown that the incidence of ischemic heart disease is 1.5 in 1000 patients at the age of 50 and it increases with 40% beyond the age of 62.

Genetic, hereditary factors can be responsible for the development of ischemic heart disease; that is why a person with family history of diabetes, angina, stroke, atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease must be aware of the high risk of ischemia

Gender can be considered one of ischemic heart disease risk factors. Studies have shown that males are up to 5 times more prone than women to ischemic heart disease; however women at the age of menopause have almost the same predisposition to ischemic heart disease like men.

Other risk factor is poor nutrition, especially fat, rich in cholesterol diet that can lead to obesity; hypercholesterolemia and the elevated cholesterol level in the blood can lead to the development of ischemic heart disease. Low level of cholesterol or high density of lipoprotein may constitute also ischemic heart disease risk factors.

Diabetes is another ischemic heart disease risk factor; patients suffering from this condition are highly prone to ischemic heart disease.

Smokingis known to be one important risk factor of ischemic heart disease and it increases by 60% the incidence of this disease.

Hypertension was considered by scientists another ischemic heart disease risk factor; high blood pressure leads to supplementary stress upon the cardiac muscle and eventually to Myocardial Infraction.

Unhealthybehavior, like alcoholism and sedentary lifestyle can also lead to ischemic heart disease.

A debatable risk factor is stress; people with a type A personality, characterized by hyperactivity, excessively time-consciousness, high competitively persons, the so called workaholics or “stress junkies” experience increased predisposition to ischemic heart disease.

Yet, the subject of a lot of debates are other ischemic heart disease factors like oral contraceptives, that have been associated with increased incidence of heart attack, gout, abdominal obesity, diagonal ear lobe crease, premature arcus corneae or , hypertriglyceridemia. All of these factors have been reported to increase ischemic heart disease development.

In order to prevent ischemic heart disease, risk factors like a a cholesterole rich diet, unhealthy behaviour like smoking, sedentaryor stressful lifestyle should be by all means avoided. In preventing arterosclerosis, avoiding foods that are rich in saturated fats, smoking cessation and engaging in regular exercises is essential. Moreover patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or hypertension must be kept under close observation and receive treatment.

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