Chronic Diseases (Heart Disease)

Based on the paper “Chronic Diseases” (Heart Disease) by Misty Smith. Originally published on April 14, 2014, for SCI-163 at the University of Phoenix.

Chronic Diseases

Heart Disease

 

Heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is the most common disease that affects the heart (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). Heart disease is caused by blockages in the coronary arteries or blood vessels that feed the heart (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). The blockages of the coronary arteries are caused by plaque buildup, which consists of large amounts of cholesterol (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). When the blockages become too large, blood flow to the heart is interrupted and causes damage to the heart walls and can cause a heart attack (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). Depending on the severity of the heart attack, patients can either survive with permanent damage to the heart or they can die (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,).

Risk Factors

Risk factors for heart disease include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, elevated cholesterol, lack of exercise, family history, and poor diet (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can go unnoticed for many years without symptoms and may only be diagnosed after the individual experiences a stroke or heart attack (Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2013, pp. 1699-1705). However, some individuals may develop nosebleeds, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or changes in their vision as a result of hypertension which can lead an individual to seek medical help and may prevent death or damage to the heart from heart disease (Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2013, pp. 1699-1705). Diabetes can cause sugar levels in an individual’s blood to become very high (“RelayClinical Education,” 2012). As a result, if blood sugar stays high for a long time, the inner lining of blood vessels may be damaged (“RelayClinical Education,” 2012). “This makes it easier for cholesterol to build up, forming plaques in the walls of the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart” (“RelayClinical Education,” 2012). Individuals who smoke or use tobacco are more likely to develop cardiovascular or heart disease, compared to people who do not smoke (Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2013, pp. 1699- 1705). Studies have shown that heart disease tends to “run in families” (Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2013, pp. 1699-1705). Therefore, individuals who had had a parent with heart disease are much more likely to have the same condition that a person with no family history of the disease (Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 2013, pp. 1699-1705).

Lifestyle Changes

It is estimated that approximately 90% of risk factors that lead to heart disease are controllable with lifestyle changes (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). Lifestyle changes that you can control to help prevent heart disease are avoiding cigarette smoke, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and maintaining a proper diet (“University Of Phoenix Life Resource Center”, ). Individuals who are physically active and eat a proper healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains tend to be at lower risk for heart disease (“University of Phoenix Life Resource Center”,). However, some individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle may not be able to avoid heart disease, therefore, regular check-ups with a physician are recommended.

In conclusion, heart disease can affect anyone at any time. There are numerous risk factors that are linked to heart disease. Over 90% of these risk factors can be controlled, leaving about 10% that are not controllable. To increase your risks of escaping the harm of heart disease an individual must lead a healthy life that includes a proper diet and exercise routine. In addition, as many of the risks are silent, an individual must have a relationship with a physician to prevent unseen factors.

 

References

Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health, 3rd ed., Detroit: Gale, 2013, pp. 1699-1705.

RelayClinical Education. (2012, February 2012). McKesson Health Solutions LLC, (),. Health and Wellness Resource Center.

University of Phoenix Life Resource Center. (). Retrieved from http://wpomain.convergencehealth.com/Default.aspx?tabid=2811




Please follow and like us:
0

Leave a Reply