Cardiovascular risk factors

Many special medical studies on the cardiovascular disease factors were held over the past 100 years. These studies revealed that cardiovascular disease (CVD) are the leading cause of disability and death in the world.There are several cardiovascular risk factors classifications. Most often, separation is made into the main and side risk factors.

Side cardiovascular risk factors:

• Age. Two people in the same age group always have different CVD risk factors. The most common age of CVD high risk is from 40 to 65 years. The older the patient is, male or female, the higher is the risk of CVD.

With age, any person has slight heart muscle physiological changes, even in the absence of diseases.
Older people’s heart does not work as effectively as in youth. In addition, the elderly may not apply all methods of cardiovascular diseases treatment.

• Patient’s gender. Myocardial infarction occurs more frequently in male patients than in females. For example, in Russia myocardial infarction is more than 2 times more likely to happen in men than in women, it is one of the highest rates in the world.

Cardiovascular Risk

Sedentary lifestyle is a significant CVD risk factor. Physical inactivity is reduced physical activity, which can contribute to poor blood circulation, digestion or breathing. Especially in men, Hypodynamia may increase CVD risk. Regular exercise reduces the chance for cardiovascular risk factors.

After 65 years in women, the number of cardiovascular risk factors increases significantly. This is due to the fact that in older age estrogen hormone concentration decreases in the female body. Medical professionals believe that the estrogen hormone improves heart and cardiovascular system.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the total amount CVD risk factors in the elderly men and women is approximately equal.

• Genetic factors are very significant in assessing CVD risk. If a patient has several relatives with CVD, he is automatically included in the group with a high CVD probability.

The genetic risk factors study is aimed at timely CVD diagnosis or confirmation. The most common genetic cardiovascular risk factors are polymorphisms in the genes of coagulation factors F 2, F 5, and polymorphisms in folate cycle genes (MTHFR, MTRR).

Major cardiovascular risk factors:

• High blood pressure in the cardiovascular system (hypertension). Hypertension is one of the major cardiovascular risk factors. High pressure increases the risk of blood clots in blood vessels and can damage the arterial wall.

Unhealthy diet, stress, bad habits increase the risk of hypertension. Furthermore, it is a hereditary disease. In children, the disease risk increases, if the parents have hypertension.

• Dyslipidemia – metabolic disorder of cholesterol and other lipids (fats). Dyslipidemia is the main risk factor for atherosclerosis and may cause myocardial infarction or stroke.

Dyslipidemia is an inherited or acquired disorder that can be associated with a person’s lifestyle, genetic factors or stress.

• Diabetes or impaired glucose sensitivity can cause very severe CVD. Many patients with diabetes have severe concomitant diseases, such as metabolic syndrome. Besides, about 85% of type 2 diabetes patients are overweight or obese.

Therefore, overweight and obesity are also included in cardiovascular risk factors. Obesity (as some CVD) is a chronic disease that requires treatment and control throughout life. Excessive fat accumulation is a health hazard and changes energy metabolism.

Obesity contributes to a significant body weight increase. Excess weight puts additional strain on the cardiovascular system, human organs and skeleton bones, even during low physical activity or sleep.

• Unhealthy lifestyle is a considerable alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and smoking. These CVD risk factors may independently increase certain cardiovascular diseases risk and can also increase other CVD factors.

Tobacco use (smoking or chewing) increases CVD risk. This risk is especially high, if a person smokes since childhood and (or) for a long time. Passive smoking is also a cardiovascular risk factor. Tobacco use cessation completely reduces heart diseases risk, regardless of smoking duration.

Low physical activity increases the risk of stroke by 50%. Increasing physical activity will not only reduce the stroke risk, but may also positively affect other CVD risk factors, and even exclude them (e.g., decreased overweight to normal levels, metabolism improvement).

As a rule, most people can have several cardiovascular risk factors. Many of the risk factors may be interrelated (e.g., diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle).

Prolonged risk factors exposure contributes to severe chronic diseases of the arteries and can lead to a vein lumen reduction. This results in blood flow worsening to vital organs (eg, brain, and heart).

In assessing CVD risk factors we can conclude:

• Most of the cardiovascular risk factors, as cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity or overweight, can be effectively controlled.

• There are risk factors, from which a person can get rid of on his own, like tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and physical inactivity.

• There are several cardiovascular risk factors that cannot be controlled, like genetic factors, person’s age.

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