The hardening of the veins leading to the heart can lead to life-threatening risks with a sudden heart attack. While age, gender and genetic factors constitute the causes of arteriosclerosis that cannot be changed; It is possible to be protected from heart diseases with personal lifestyle changes. Professor of Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology, Memorial Service Hospital. Dr. Uğur Coşkun gave information about the things to be careful about coronary artery diseases.
Don't take chest pains lightly
Atherosclerosis, in other words, arteriosclerosis, is expressed as a pathological event characterized by the plaques formed by the combination of cholesterol, calcium, connective tissue cells and inflammatory cells in the inner layers of the arteries. These plaques can reduce blood flow to the heart muscle by physically narrowing the artery or causing abnormal arterial flow and function. Decreased coronary vessel blood flow causes insufficiency of oxygen and vital nutrients offered to the heart muscle. If the blood flow to a certain area of the heart muscle is cut off completely or the energy and vital needs of the heart muscle are not met sufficiently and this situation lasts for a long time, heart attack can be caused. For this reason, chest pains that may result from coronary artery disease should not be taken lightly.
The endothelial layer of the vessels, the body's most important endocrine source, should not be damaged.
The endothelial layer, which covers the blood vessel lumen and contacts the blood, is actually the most important endocrine organ of the body. It tries to balance the blood flow it provides to the tissues it feeds by adjusting the vascular tension according to changing physiological and pathological conditions. In addition, although the endothelial layer is a very thin layer consisting of a single layer of flat epithelium, it provides the regulation of very important functions for life with its numerous small hormone secretions. This disruption of the integrity of the endothelium, which occurs with many risk factors and aging, and the passage of oxidized malignant LDL cholesterol under the endothelium is actually the main reason for the emergence of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular diseases caused by atherosclerosis. The presence of vascular deterioration in the heart vessels causes heart attack, cerebrovascular events (stroke or cerebral palsy) in the cerebral vessels, pain in the leg arteries, calf pain when walking, and unbearable abdominal pain after eating.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent vascular diseases
These deteriorations in the vessels cause the emergence of various diseases in different organs. However, it is possible to slow down the occurrence or progression of these diseases with early preventive measures. Age, gender, genetic reasons and other risk factors that cause arteriosclerosis of the patient can be determined individually and corrected. While these risk factors are being treated, drug treatments are not started immediately, except for some patient groups with high risk conditions. The patient must first make various lifestyle changes. Risk factors are divided into those that cannot be changed and those that can be changed.
Risk factors that cannot be changed:
- AgeCardiovascular frequency increases significantly in patients over 65 years of age.
- Gender: While the risk of coronary artery disease starts at a very early age in men compared to women, its frequency increases after menopause and reaches the same level as men.
- Genetic factors: History of coronary artery disease in first degree relatives constitutes a risk factor for the patient.
Modifiable (preventable) risk factors:
- Diabetes (diabetes): Although diabetes is accepted as a risk factor that is accepted as the equivalent of cardiovascular disease, diabetics who comply with nutrition, exercise and ideal drug use can live a healthy life for many years without cardiovascular problems.
- Hypertension: Patients who have blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg and who have to use medication have this risk factor. A healthy lifestyle and regular use of medication reduce the risks associated with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular complications.
- High cholesterol: The elevation in LDL malignant cholesterol causes fat accumulation under the endothelium and develops cholesterol plaque in the arteries and causes arteriosclerosis. HDL benign cholesterol is a protective cholesterol that carries the fat content under the vascular endothelium to the reverse. The most important factors that increase HDL cholesterol are programmed cardio exercises, quitting smoking and consuming foods such as walnuts and nuts in moderate amounts.
- Cigarette: The risk of heart disease in smokers is 2 times higher than in non-smokers. The risk of heart attack is 3-4 times higher in smokers than non-smokers. Smoking increases the oxidation rate of LDK cholesterol, which is malignant cholesterol, and increases the transition under the vascular endothelial membrane, and increases the factors that cause germ-free inflammation called inflammation, causing the cholesterol plaque to become prone to acute complications such as volume increase and cracking of its structure. In addition, it reduces the fluidity of the blood and increases the risk of blood cells sticking together.
- Obesity: By causing metabolic syndrome, it increases the risk of diseases related to atherosclerosis. Obesity increases triglycerides, increases insulin resistance. It also restricts physical movement and causes high blood pressure. The risk of arteriosclerosis is minimized in the patient who gets rid of his excess weight.
- Lack of physical activity: It has a negative effect on all risk factors. With a physically inactive lifestyle, skeletal muscles weaken, insulin resistance increases, vascular flexibility decreases, blood pressure rises, self-confidence decreases and the tendency to depression increases.
- Stress and tension: Situations such as having to constantly work in a limited time, being reprimanded by their superiors, pressure, working in an intense office tempo and being in a constant environment of discussion also cause the stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to be constantly high in the blood. These, in turn, raise blood pressure and heart rate. It causes an increase in insulin resistance. Sudden stress attacks can trigger heart attacks and arrhythmias. In daily life, one should be conscious of the effects of stress on the heart, and such tensions should be avoided as much as possible.