What Factors Contribute to Heart Disease?

Although sometimes used to refer to cardiovascular disease (CVD), “heart disease” is actually a broad term that covers conditions that affect other parts of the organ. These include the muscles and the valves. It may also refer to diseases that have an impact on its electrical system.

Many factors can contribute or cause a heart disease. Some of the most popular ones are the following:

1. Buildup of Plaque

Plaque can build up on the walls of the blood vessels called the arteries, which deliver the oxygenated blood from the heart to all parts of the body. As it accumulates, it hardens and then blocks the passageway, reducing the blood flow and resulting in angina or chest pain. Sometimes it can rupture and forms a blood clot.

There are many risk factors associated with plaque buildup:

  • Smoking, including second-hand smoking
  • High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension and diabetes

2. Congenital

Sometimes the heart disease begins as soon as the infant is born. It could be there’s already stenosis, or the narrowing of the arteries. In patent ductus arteriosus, the artery that connects the aorta to the pulmonary artery doesn’t close after birth. Septal defects, meanwhile, refer to abnormalities that occur on the walls or septum) of the heart’s chambers.

3. Inherent

Inherent factors are those that are part and parcel of a person and cannot be controlled or modified. These include heredity, age, race, and gender.

4. Chronic Stress

When a person is under stress, the blood pressure goes up and produces cortisol as a way of preparing the body for a fight-or-flight response. The problem happens when an individual is chronically stressed. Studies have shown a strong connection between it and chronic inflammation. The latter is then linked to hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.