Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this condition is responsible for about hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. This statistic represents one in four adults. This dangerous disease is actually an umbrella term comprising multiple dysfunctional conditions of blood vessels like peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, abnormal heartbeats, congenital heart disease, and cardiomyopathy.
This dangerous heart condition can be caused by a buildup of materials like cholesterol that lead to the formation of arterial plaque. Plaque buildup can cause arteries to narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and resulting in a stroke or heart attack. This may occur due to lifestyle choices like unhealthy diet or a sedentary lifestyle. Other factors contributing to the condition are smoking tobacco or being overweight or obese.
Arrhythmias are due to electrical dysfunction that can be caused by conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, congenital heart defects, tobacco use, drug use, stress, or excessive caffeine intake. Congenital heart defects typically form in the womb shortly before conception. Heart defects can be influenced by medications, certain medical conditions, and genetic abnormalities. The heart’s structure can also change along with the aging process in adults.
The symptoms may vary between individuals, depending upon the type of heart condition that you have. Men and women may also have different types of symptoms. For example, women are more typically affected by additional symptoms like nausea, chest discomfort, fatigue, and shortness of breath during a heart attack. Men more typically experience chest pain.
The scientific weight of evidence indicates that obesity has a strong influence on the heart. Carrying excess weight can negatively affect the heart in many ways. For one thing, it increases your odds of developing problems like hypertension, type II diabetes, and high cholesterol. It can stimulate inflammation that results in damage to the cardiovascular system and further cause functional or structural changes in the heart itself.
Treating this serious condition depends upon the specifics of your individual situation. In some cases, medication is used for the treatment of high blood pressure or to treat coronary artery disease. Medications may also be prescribed to treat high cholesterol, and anticoagulant medication may be used to prevent blood clots. For some, surgery may be necessary to open or unclog arteries and enhance blood flow to the heart. You may be prescribed a special diet and workout routine to forestall the need for surgery.
If you are concerned that you may be at risk for heart disease and would like more information, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment with Cardiac Associates of North Jersey! At our convenient location in Oakland, NJ, our caring team of professionals will be pleased to explain your options in full and address any concerns you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you.