Heart disease and its causes

The coronary disease is associated with the atherosclerosis ( “hardening of the arteries”). Atherosclerosis is caused by the build-up of plaque, made up of cholesterol and other substances, on the lining of the arteries. Most of the cholesterol in our blood is produced by our liver. People whose diets contain too much saturated fat (eg animal fat) are at greater risk of coronary heart disease. High blood pressure is also a predisposing factor for atherosclerosis because it promotes this process.

  • A heart attack occurs when an artery responsible for supplying part of the heart with oxygen becomes completely blocked by a clot that has formed from a fragment of the plaque that has broken off from the wall of the heart. artery.


  • Angina pectoris ( chest pain) occurs when the heart receives insufficient oxygen to function normally. This phenomenon is caused by the presence of plaque and cholesterol that line the arteries and obstruct the flow of blood that should reach a particular area of ​​the heart.

Arrhythmia can occur because nerve cells that specialize in sending electrical signals from the heart (and whose function is to regulate the heart pump) no longer propagate them adequately because they are blocked, slowed down, accelerated or forced. to follow another path. Arrhythmias can also occur when another part of the heart starts producing electrical signals that supplement signals from specialized nerve cells and disrupt the rhythm of the heart.

Heart failure is caused by conditions that weaken the heart or its affect their ability to pump blood. Coronary artery disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, disease of the heart valves (a valve disease), an enlarged heart, certain abnormalities of the heart structures caused by an inherited disease, and severe lung disease, can all be the cause of heart failure.

Now that you know some of the causes of heart disease, there are preventative measures you can take. You can start by learning about your risk factors , such as physical inactivity and smoking, and the preventative measures that will help you lower your risk. You can also refer to the Guide to Talking with Your Doctor for more information on risk factors and how to discuss heart prevention with your doctor.


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