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What Causes Heart Disease? - Part 1

September 10, 2013

Heart disease is a serious disease that can lead to death. In order to prevent or manage heart disease, you have to know the factors that contribute to its development. Here’s a look at the causes of various types of heart disease:

Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

heart disease helpCardiovascular disease is a term that is used to describe heart and blood vessel problems that are caused by atherosclerosis, or buildup of plaque in the arteries. The function of arteries is to transport oxygen and nutrients from the heart to other parts of the body, and healthy arteries are strong and flexible. Nevertheless, too much pressure in the arteries can make their walls stiff and thick over time, and this can restrict the flow of blood to the rest of the body. Atherosclerosis is the main cause of cardiovascular disease, and it usually results from an unhealthy diet, excessive weight, lack of exercise, and smoking.

Causes of Heart Arrhythmia

Heart arrhythmia means irregular or abnormal heart rhythms. This condition can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects, valvular heart disease, excessive use of caffeine or alcohol, smoking, drug abuse, stress, and certain medications and dietary supplements.

Causes of Heart Defects

Usually, heart defects affect babies that are still in the womb. They will begin to develop when the heart starts forming, which is about one month after conception. Certain genes, medical conditions, and medications can also contribute to the development of heart defects. Adults are also susceptible to heart defects. As you become older, the structure of your heart may change, and this can result in heart defects.

We will discuss the causes of other types of heart disease in our next post. 

Cardiology Tests to Predict the Risk of Heart Attack

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos