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Cardiac/Heart Support

Heart disease, or heart disorders, is a condition that affect the heart muscle or the blood vessels of the heart. There are many different types of heart disease, but the most common is coronary artery disease (CAD). This condition causes the arteries to narrow, and it may lead to stroke or heart attack.

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High cholesterol and high blood pressure are often precursors to heart disease. In addition, recent evidence suggests that high levels of homocysteine in the blood increases a patient’s risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). These factors may damage or irritate the blood vessels, leading to blockages in arteries.

Heart disease is potentially life threatening. In the United Kingdom, heart disease is the leading cause of death in adults. According to the Department of Health over 110,000 people die each year. This is because the heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, and blood contains oxygen, which is necessary for the body & brain to function properly.

Patients with heart disease may have heart attacks (myocardial infarctions), which may be fatal. A heart attack occurs when the supply of blood and oxygen to an area of heart muscle is blocked. (275,000 a year in the UK suffer an MI). If treatment is not started quickly, the affected area of heart muscle begins to die. This injury to the heart muscle can lead to serious complications, including death. It is possible to survive a heart attack, but the part of the heart muscle affected may be damaged, causing shortness of breath and chest pain during exertion or rest. Patients who have experienced a heart attack have an increased risk of having another one.

Patients with heart disease also have an increased risk of developing strokes. This occurs when the blood vessels in the brain become blocked. As a result, the brain does not receive enough oxygen.

Although some patients may be genetically predisposed to heart disease, individuals can take steps to reduce their risks. Key lifestyle risk factors for CHD include smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. About ten million people in England smoke – over one in four people. Approximately 20% of CHD related deaths in men and 17% of CHD cases in women are attributable to smoking. The incidence of CHD is highest amongst people who are obese. Overall, 22% of men and 23% of women in England are now obese. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in general and of coronary heart disease mortality in particular. Physically inactive people have about double the risk of CHD.

Nutritional Therapy can potentially offer one of the most significant protective roles in CAD. There is much that can be done to support one’s cardiovascular system both by eating the right kinds of food as well as avoiding the foods that increase CAD risk such as fried foods, trans fatty acids, a high refined suar diet and so on.

References

  1. Boekholdt SM, Sandhu MS, Day NE, et al. Physical activity, C-reactive protein levels and the risk of future coronary artery disease in apparently healthy men and women: the EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2006;13(6):970-6. View Abstract
  2. Carrero JJ, Fonolla J, Marti JL, et al. Intake of fish oil, oleic acid, folic acid, and vitamins B-6 and E for 1 year decreases plasma C-reactive protein and reduces coronary heart disease risk factors in male patients in a cardiac rehabilitation program. J Nutr. 2007;137(2):384-90. View Abstract
  3. Dauchet L, Amouyel P, Hercberg S, et al. Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Nutr. 2006;136(10):2588-93. View Abstract
  4. Heidemann C, Hoffmann K, Klipstein-Grobusch K, et al. Potentially modifiable classic risk factors and their impact on incident myocardial infarction: results from the EPIC-Potsdam study. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2007;14(1):65-71. View Abstract

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