Part - 2
What should be done about the risk factors?
. Family history of heart disease, especially heart attacks prior to the age of 50 years among close relatives and also stroke and other blood vessel diseases is a definite reason for a complete check up. We can not do much about the family history but we can investigate for other risk factors associated and treat, control or prevent them, to lower the probability of heart disease in a person and take efforts for early diagnosis and treatment.
. High blood pressure and Diabetes mellitus contribute to hardening of the arteries, especially in association with high cholesterol. The risk will be reduced very much if these are well controlled with early diagnosis and proper treatment.
. High blood pressure and Diabetes mellitus may remain without any symptoms until very late when complications like a heart attack, stroke or coma occur as the very first sign. Hence, they are called the silent killers. They need to be checked on routine examination periodically, especially if a person has a strong family history of these conditions or has unusual tiredness, loss of weight, frequent headaches, excessive thirst or sudden loss of weight without dieting.
. High cholesterol levels above 190 and high Triglyceride [Fat] levels are well known to be associated with atherosclerotic blockages of arteries causing heart attack and stroke. This is much more correlated with high levels of LDL cholesterol of above 130. HDL cholesterol, called the good cholesterol, helps in removing cholesterol from to the liver and so low levels of this will increase the risk.
. Cigarette smoking causes contraction and spasm of the blood vessels and lead to arteriosclerotic blockages with cholesterol deposits. It also interferes with the clotting mechanisms, causes blood clots, and causes blockages of arteries of heart, brain and legs.
What other conditions can increase this risk?
Who needs check ups and treatment?
Every one in this high risk category or with strong family history needs periodic checkups, risk factor analysis and life style modifications. Individuals can not change their gender [as male gender is a risk factor], genetic characters, family history or past life style. But, by new efforts for proper life style modification, early diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are risk factors, one can minimize the effects of the coronary artery disease. They should avoid smoking and alcohol. Persons with family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes and are past the age of 35 years or any one over the age of 45 years will need periodic checkups for these risk factors and will need early intervention with a special low fat diet, exercise and treatment program. General weight reduction is important in all obese people. Persons who are put on a strict low calorie and controlled special diets and exercise program will need a checkup, blood tests and EKG. Persons with risk factors will benefit from a proper diet and exercise plan. Persons over the age of 45 years will require a physical examination, EKG and maximal exercise stress test even if they are not on any exercise program. This will help identify any preexisting coronary artery disease.
Please See : Cholesterol, Hypertension, Diabetes, Stress Test & Diet Plans for Related Information
Conclusion and summary: