Heart Attack Risk Factors and Causes

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Heart Attack Risk Factors and Causes

Post  roshaan on Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:24 am

The primary risk factor for heart attack is coronary heart disease (CHD), also called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaques (deposits of cholesterol and fatty materials) form in the arteries and partially or completely block blood flow. When a plaque tears or ruptures, a blood clot (thrombus) can form and completely block the flow of blood to the heart. Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot in a coronary artery.

Many of the risk factors for CHD and subsequent heart attack are related to being overweight. Risk factors include the following:

* Age (over 55)
* Diabetes
* Elevated levels of certain amino acids and proteins (e.g., homocysteine, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen)
* Gender (male)
* Heredity (family history of heart disease)
* High blood pressure (hypertension)
* High fat diet
* High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and low levels of "good" (HDL) cholesterol
* Lack of exercise
* Smoking
* Stress (e.g., "type A" or driven personality)

In some cases, heart attack is caused by a severe spasm (contraction) in a coronary artery. During a spasm, the artery narrows and blood flow to an area of the heart decreases or stops. The cause of spasms is unknown, and one can occur in normal arteries as well as those partially blocked by atherosclerosis.
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Re: Heart Attack Risk Factors and Causes

Post  Hummingbird on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:18 pm

Thank you so much for your input Roshaan!!
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