Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Disease Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Risk Factors For Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in the world. It includes conditions such as heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, congestive heart failure and other forms of cardiovascular diseases. It can have serious effects on health and quality of life. There are a number of risk factors that increase the chance of developing CVD. These include lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet and being overweight or obese. Other risk factors include age, family history and pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.Smoking is a major risk factor for CVD. The chemicals in cigarettes can damage the walls of arteries leading to blockages which can cause CVD events like heart attacks or stroke. Quitting smoking reduces the chance of developing CVD by half within two years and by two-thirds within five years after quitting (1).Lack of physical activity is another important risk factor for CVD development (2). People who are physically inactive are more likely to develop high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes which all increase the risk for CVD later in life (3). Regular exercise helps to reduce these risks significantly by increasing good cholesterol levels in addition to helping with weight loss/management (4).Unhealthy diets are also linked with increased risks for developing CVD over time(5). Diets low in fresh fruits and vegetables while high in saturated fat have been linked with higher rates of cardiac events(6). Eating diets rich in whole grains, plant proteins and healthy fats like nuts are associated with reduced risks(7). Family history also plays an important role when it comes to determining one’s susceptibility towards developing cardiovascular diseases(8). If there is a family history of early onset heart disease it increases the likelihood that one may also suffer from similar problems down the road if appropriate preventive measures are not taken.(9) Additionally certain ethnicities like those from South Asia may be at higher genetic predispositions for cardiovascular diseases due to their genes which may explain why they tend to experience higher rates even when other lifestyle factors remain equal.(10) Finally there are certain pre-existing medical conditions that increase one’s chances for developing cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, atherosclerosis/hardening arteries ,type 2 diabetes mellitus etc.