What causes heart disease? Two major conditions contribute Atherosclerosis it involves deposits of fatty substances cholesterol, cellular waste and calcium in the lining of an artery. It starts due to elevated levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and tobacco smoke.
Congestive Heart Failure affects people of all ages from children to senior citizens, there is no cure. The heart has been weakened by an underlying problem. Clogged arteries, high blood pressure, a defect or some other medical condition. It does not mean the heart has failed, simply means the heart is not doing an efficient job.
Cerebrovascular Accident – Every 53 seconds someone in America has a stroke. Stroke is the nation’s #3 killer and is the leading cause of long-term disability. People with heart disease have twice the risk of having a stroke. It is caused when a blood vessel in the brain become blocked by artherosclerosis and the tissue supplied b the artery dies. It can also be caused by a traveling blood clot known as an embolus.
Unchangeable Risk Factors: Age, the older you get the greater the chance of heart disease. Four out of five people who die of congestive heart disease are 65 years of age or older. Sex, males have a greater rate of congestive heart disease. Race, minorities have a greater chance of heart disease. African Americans have a greater chance of high blood pressure. The risk is also higher in Mexican Americans, America Indians, native Hawaiians and Asian Americans. Also included as unchangeable risk factors is your family history and your own personal medical history.
Hypertension Serum Cholesterol: As cholesterol rises so does the risk of congestive heart disease, and obesity. It is unhealthy because excess weight puts more strain on your heart. It can raise blood pressure and blood cholesterol and lead to diabetes. Diabetes Mellitus, Physical Inactivity, and Cigarette Smoking along with Alcohol intake are the other changeable risk factors. A smoker’s risk of a heart attack is more than twice that of a non-smoker.
Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all of your body’s cells. Everybody needs cholesterol, it serves a vital function in the body. It is a component of the nerve tissue of the brain and spinal cord as well as other major organs. We get cholesterol from two ways. Our bodies make it and the rest comes from animal products we eat. It is frequently measured to promote health and prevent disease. Desirable levels of total cholesterol levels should be at 200 or less. 240 is considered high but it will depend on the HDL and LDL levels if at this level there is a risk to your health. It is a major component of the plaque that clogs arteries. Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from cells by special carriers called lipoproteins.
The Facts About Fat – Certain fats are essential for good nutrition and health. Fats provided essential fatty acids which the body can’t manufacture, they act as insulators to maintain body temperature and they improve the palatability of food and promote digestion. Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don’t is very important. Saturated fat, trans fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol. Some studies suggest that using monounsaturated and polyunsaturated may lower cholesterol levels slightly.
Saturated fats can cause an increase in cholesterol. What is saturated fat? It is fat that is saturated with hydrogen and is a solid at room temperature. Examples are lard and butter. Saturated fats increase levels of LDL, decrease levels of HDL and increases total cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends you limit saturated fat intake to 7-10% of your total calories.
Monounsaturated fat includes canola, olive and peanut oils and avocados.
Trans fatty acids have hydrogen added to them to give them a longer shelf life and they also tend to lower HDL levels.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish two times per week. Mention other fish that contain Omega 3 fatting acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are available as a supplement but research is till being done to determine the supplements’ effectiveness.
People who are obese have 2 to 6 times the risk of developing hypertension even if they have no other risk factors.
About 2/3 of the people with diabetes die of some type of heart or blood vessel disease.
Exercise can help control blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, as well as help lower blood pressure.
Alcohol Consumption: In small amounts alcohol acts as a vasodilator, this is good and usually occurs in 1-2 drinks. In large amounts it acts as a vasoconstrictor which is bad. The range this occurs is 3-4 drinks. This is a very fine line. Other risk factors that may contribute to a higher risk of heart disease is an individual’s response to stress, sex hormones, and the loss of natural estrogen as women age.
How can you stop cardiovascular disease? The heart healthy diet is designed to decrease sodium, saturated fat, including trans fatty acids which are all closely linked to high blood cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease. It also encourages the increased intake of monounsaturated fat, Omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program have developed these diets to treat high blood pressure and hypercholesterolemia. The main goal is to lower LDL levels to reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease. These guidelines help patients reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in their diets. The difference between Step 1 and 2 is that Step 1 is carried out in a medical setting. Step 1 is the starting point.
Heart Disease- TheHeart Disease- The
Silent KillerSilent Killer
What is Heart Disease?
• A general term that covers a number
of diseases which affect the heart,
including coronary artery disease,
heart-failure and angina.
• Heart Disease is the number one
killer in the United States.
What Causes Heart
• Atherosclerosis-fatty deposits of
• Hypertension- we will discuss in
Coronary Artery Disease
Occurs when the coronary arteries
that supply the heart muscle become
• Partially blocked it causes angina.
• Fully blocked it causes a myocardial
infarction or a heart attack!
• Symptoms: uncomfortable pressure,
fullness, squeezing pain, pain
spreading to the shoulders, neck and
• Chest discomfort and light
• Paleness or pallor
• Increased irregular heart rate
• Feeling of impending doom
If you or someone you know is having
these symptoms call 911!
Congestive Heart Failure
• Fits under the description of heart
• Does not mean the heart has failed,
simply means the heart is not doing
an efficient job.
• It results from an injury or a
reduction of function of the heart
• Can be due to arteriosclerosis,
hypertension, myocardial infarction,
Congestive Heart Failure
• The right side of the heart collects the
blood returning from the body and sends it
to the lungs.
• If it is failing, the blood backs up into the
veins, and there are signs of edema.
• The left side of the heart receives the
blood from the lungs and pumps it out into
the body. If it is failing the blood is not
• Blood vessel in the brain becomes
blocked by atherosclerosis- the
tissue supplied by the artery dies.
• Embolus – which is a traveling blood
Symptoms of Stroke
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the
face, arm or leg, especially on one
side of the body.
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking,
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness,
loss of balance or coordination.
Symptoms of Stroke
• Sudden severe headache with no
• If you have any of these symptoms
you need immediate medical
• Age- the older you get, the greater
• Sex- males have a greater rate even
after women pass menopause.
• Race- minorities have a greater
• Family history- if family members
have had CHD, there is a greater
• Personal Medical History- other
diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus
can increase chances.
• Everybody needs cholesterol, it
serves a vital function in the body.
• It is a component of the nerve tissue
of the brain and spinal cord as well as
other major organs.
• Frequently measured to promote
health and prevent disease.
• A major component of the plaque
that clogs arteries.
Types of Cholesterol
Lipoproteins- 4 main classes
• Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL)
• Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)
• High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
The Facts About Fat
• Certain fats are essential for good
nutrition and health.
• Fats provide essential fatty acids
which the body can’t manufacture.
• Act as insulators to maintain body
• Improve the palatability of food and
The Facts About Fat
• Provide the greatest energy output
per gram of any food source. ( 9
• Carry fat soluble vitamins- A,D,E, and
The Skinny on Fat
• Saturated fats- basically means the
fat is saturated with hydrogen, they
are solid at room temperature.
Examples are lard and butter.
• Why are they bad for you? They
increase levels of LDL , decrease
HDL and increase total cholesterol.
The Skinny on Fat
• What are polyunsaturated fats?
They are unsaturated fats which are
liquid at room temperature and in the
• Why are they good for us?
• They help the body get rid of newly
The Skinny on Fat
• What are monounsaturated fats?
• They are liquid at room temperature
but start to solidify in the
• Decrease total cholesterol and lower
The Skinny on Fat
• What are trans fatty acids? They
are unsaturated fats but they tend
to raise total and bad cholesterol.
• Where do you find them?
• In fast-food restaurants
• Commercial baked goods. Examples:
doughnuts, potato chips, cupcakes.
What about Omega 3?
• Type of polyunsaturated fat.
• Consistently lowers serum
triglycerides and may also have an
effect on lowering blood pressure.
• Found in oily fish such as salmon,
tuna, and herring.
• Is available as a supplement.
• People who are obese have 2 to 6
times the risk of developing
• Location of the body fat is
• Pears of apples?
• At any given cholesterol level,
diabetic persons have a 2 or 3 x
higher risk of atherosclerosis!
• Insulin is required to maintain
adequate levels of lipoprotein lipase,
an enzyme needed to break down bad
• Increasing physical activity has been
shown to decrease blood pressure.
• Moderate to intense physical activity
for 30-45 minutes on most days of
the week is recommended.
• Causes an increase in blood pressure
• Usually have lower levels of HDL
• Within 1 year of quitting, CHD risk
decreases, within 2 years it reaches
the level of a nonsmoker.
• In small amounts it acts as a
vasodilator-Good! 1-2 drinks
• In large amounts it acts as a
vasoconstrictor-BAD! 3-4 drinks
• This is a very fine line!
• Cardiac Catherization - Dr. inserts a
plastic tube into an artery or vein
and injects a dye, this can help to
determine where the blockages are.
Also a good method to determine the
amount of blood and oxygen the
heart is receiving.
• Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
The most frequently performed
major surgery in the United States.
Surgery reroutes or bypasses blood
around clogged arteries.
• Angioplasty (PCTA)
It involves creating a space in a
blocker artery by inserting a small
balloon and then inflating it. Now
includes the placement of a mesh
stent to improve effectiveness.
How can You Stop CVD?
Diet and Nutrition, there are several
guidelines listed by the American
• Eat a variety of fruits and
vegetables every day. ( 5 servings -
they are naturally low in fat and high
in vitamins and minerals)
• Eat a variety of grain products ( 6 a
Diet and Prevention of
• Choose nonfat or low-fat products.
• Use lean meats- choose chicken, fish,
turkey and lean cuts of beef and
• Switch to fat-free milk- gradually
reduce the fat content of the milk
• Choose fats with 2 gms or less of
saturated fats per serving such as
liquid and tub margarines, canola oil
and olive oil.
• Balance the # of calories you eat
with the number of calories you use
• Maintain a level of physical activity
that keeps you fit and matches the #
of calories you eat.
• Limit your intake of foods high in
calories and low in nutrition, including
foods like soft drinks and candy.
• Limit foods high in saturated fat,
trans fat and cholesterol
• Eat less than 6 gms of salt a day
• Have no more than one alcoholic drink
Step I and II Diets
• The AHA and NCEP have developed
these diets to treat high blood
pressure and hypercholesterolemia
• They are designed to lower LDL
levels, while at the same time
promoting good nutrition.
Step I Step
• Total fat- 30% or
• Sat fat- 7-10%
• Poly - up to 10%
• Mono Up to 15%
• Carb 55% or more
• Pro Approx 15%
• Chol. less than
• 30% or less
• up to 10%
• up to 15%
• 55% or more
• Approx 15%
• less than 200 mg
Exercise and CVD
• Serves several functions in
preventing and treating those at high
• Reduces incidence of obesity.
• Increases HDL
• Lowers LDL and total cholesterol
• Helps control diabetes and
• Those at high risk should take part in
a specially supervised program.
• Cardiovascular disease is the number
• It is highly preventable and
controllable with diet and exercise.
• Good resource: