What is Heart Disease ?
The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system. Through the body's blood vessels, the heart pumps blood to all of the body's cells. The blood carries oxygen, which the cells need. Cardiovascular disease is a group of problems that occur when the heart and blood vessels aren't working the way they should.
Here are some of the problems that go along with cardiovascular disease:
Arteriosclerosis- also called hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis means the arteries become thickened and are no longer as flexible.
Atherosclerosis- a buildup of cholesterol and fat that makes the arteries narrower so less blood can flow through. Those buildups are called plaque.
Angina- people with angina feel a pain in the chest that means the heart isn't getting enough blood.
Heart attack- when a blood clot or other blockage cuts blood flow to a part of the heart.
Stroke- when part of the brain doesn't get enough blood due to a clot or a burst blood vessel.
If you're like most people, you think that heart disease is a problem for other folks. But heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks.
Other kinds of heart problems may happen to the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by taking steps to control factors that put you at greater risk:
Control your blood pressure
Lower your cholesterol
Get enough exercise
Poor sleep may lead to heart disease and obesity
A new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzing the data of over 130,000 people, also indicates that general sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or sleeping too much) may play a role in the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Patients with sleep disturbances at least three nights per week on average were 35 percent more likely to be obese, 54 percent more likely to have diabetes, 98 percent more likely to have coronary artery disease, 80 percent more likely to have had a heart attack, and 102 percent more likely to have had a stroke.