Heart disease is an umbrella term that describes different conditions affecting the health of a human heart. The conditions affect different parts of the heart which includes heart muscles. The different components of the heart represent an important role in the heart in terms of its functioning. Heart diseases are caused by different factors, and it is imperative for a person diagnosed with it to change his or her lifestyle to increase chances of survival. The condition reveals a probability that lead to fatal complications if left untreated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that it is one of the leading causes of death such that out of 4 the deaths in the United States, 1 is as a result of heart disease. (Roth 24). Some of the heart diseases include heart attacks, stroke, pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, angina, atrial fibrillation, and peripheral artery disease among others. The cause of a particular disease depends on the disease itself.
Heart failure is caused by the hearts’ inability to pump blood to the body adequately. Even though the heart muscle is very strong, it could be compromised over time thus fail to perform its functions. The failure to proper perform its functions makes the heart beat faster thus causing a buildup in the muscles in an effort to accommodate more blood (Roth 46). With time, the heart struggles to maintain its functions thus straining instead. This could lead to either a stroke or a cardiac arrest. effort to compensate affects the functioning of the heart thus leading to heart failure. One can have the condition from birth, or it could result from conditions that cause stretching and thinning of the left ventricle. Other causes include heart infections, alcohol use disorders, drug use, heart attacks, and other heart-related diseases like high blood pressure.
Genetics is one of the causes of heart diseases. Genetics is unique to an individual’s family (Benjamin 45). For example, Cardiac myxoma is a heart tumor that is inherited. It causes blockage in blood flow which might end up causing an embolism. This is caused by broken tumor cells travelling through the blood stream and into the heart. Valve disorders such as familial valvular heart disease are a result of gene mutations. The most common valve abnormalities are pulmonary valve stenosis and bicuspid aortic valve.
Unhealthy lifestyle decisions or choices, which are known as lifestyle risk factors, lead to heart diseases. For example, an unhealthy diet with high fat, sugar, and cholesterol could contribute to the development of conditions such as atherosclerosis. Consumption of too much salt could lead to high blood pressure, which in turn could cause heart disease (Roth 34). Moreover, obesity and excessive consumption of alcohol could lead to depression and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart diseases. Excessive Consumption of alcohol raises blood pressure and increases the cholesterol level in a person and could lead to atherosclerosis, which can cause stroke, cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmias. Other risk factors for heart diseases are age, sex, and race. In fact, age increases the chances of a heart attack such that as a person grows older, the heart muscles might weaken or thicken leading to the damage of the arteries. Thus it is not surprising that most people with heart disease are aged 65 years or older.
Heart diseases have both long term and short term effects, and they can affect the quality of life. For example, a person who has experienced angina might live with the fear. They will be scared of exercising because it could lead to chest pain and other painful indications that originate from the ailment. In addition, heart failure victims tend to develop symptoms like swelling, dizziness, and other related symptoms. This limits their performance in everyday tasks including reading. They also have to deal with the knowledge that their illness is long term thus leading to stress that could end up with an event of stroke or cardiac arrest.
Long term effects of heart diseases depend on different factors. They include causes, condition, medication and severity of the disease. The fact that it is a long term illness makes it a long term effect, which means that the affected individuals have to be cautious and most of the times are under medication (Khera 67). In the case of a heart attack, one is left with a dead muscle in the heart thus making that particular muscle nonfunctional, which leads to different difficulties which could be expected even in people who lose a limb or an arm (Khera 74). The heart, therefore, remains vulnerable to other diseases like a stroke or other heart attacks. Complications could come with medical induction; thus it remains the leading cause of death in the United States.
It is important for people to seek treatment the moment they believe that they may have developed heart disease. It is imperative to stay vigilant of the causes and symptoms, which could include often, ignored things such as cholesterol and sugar. After a diabetes diagnosis, one should be evaluated regularly for heart diseases diabetes has been linked to heart diseases and one. If diagnosed with heart disease, it is important to start medication immediately and maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid complications in the future. Those with a family history of heart condition should be evaluated.
Benjamin, Emelia J., et al. “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2017 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association.” Circulation 135.10 (2017): e146-e603.
Khera, Amit V., et al. “Genetic Risk, Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle, and Coronary Disease.” New England Journal of Medicine 375.24 (2016): 2349-2358.
Roth, Gregory A., et al. “Global, regional, and national burden of cardiovascular diseases for ten causes, 1990 to 2015.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 70.1 (2017): 1-25.