Your heart is just another organ in the body. So, what is it that makes it so amazing? It is the fact that till the very end the heart continues to work and is responsible for making your whole body work. To pump about 2,000 gallons of oxygen-and-nutrient rich blood daily through your circulatory system, it beats no less than 100,000 times day. And come to think of it, it is just the size of your fist! This important organ receives blood and oxygen via coronary arteries which are made up of blood vessels. These coronary arteries are responsible for making the heart contract and push blood to the rest of the body. If the coronary artery gets blocked, it deprives the heart of blood and oxygen thereby causing injury to it. If the blood flow is not restored to the heart within twenty to forty minutes, it begins to die. Approximately, one million Americans suffer a heart attack every year which turns fatal for four hundred thousand of them. Age, smoking, as well as our sedentary lifestyles are chiefly responsible for a heart attack, which is commonly referred to as the ‘silent killer’. If you want more information on the causes of heart attack, read on.
Heart Attack Causes
Stress, especially emotional stress, can be extremely harmful for a person. However, how much and in what way stress can affect us varies from person to person. Stressful situations cause the nervous system to release extra hormones, such as adrenaline, which in turn increase the heart rate and blood pressure. This causes the blood to thicken thus significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks. Stress can also lead to an increase in blood clotting factors. This is dangerous as clots can block an artery already narrowed by plaque and trigger a heart attack.
Studies have shown that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol can lower the risk of heart attack. However, drinking alcohol immoderately can cause all heart related problems including attacks. An average drink has around 100-200 calories. Extra calories from alcohol add fat to the body which can contribute greatly to an attack.
High Blood Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat like substance carried in your blood – it is present in each cell of your body. It is a necessary component of the many hormones that your body creates as well as the bile acids that help in fat digestion. The main culprits are the saturated fats found amply in fast foods; they increase LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood to form plaque on the coronary artery walls. Though a certain amount of cholesterol is usual, surplus cholesterol in the bloodstream that gets dumped around the arteries is one of the primary reasons of a heart attack.
Heart problems are the leading cause of death among people with diabetes, especially in the case of Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes usually comes when a person is overweight owing to a fondness for unhealthy intakes of sugar and cholesterol loaded junk food. The fat and sugar from this food is absorbed into the blood flow causing fatty substances to build up in and around the arteries. It may also necessitate a bypass surgery.
Most people know that cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco increase the risk of lung cancer. However, fewer realize that they also greatly increase the risk of heart diseases. Research has shown that smoking increases blood pressure, tightens major arteries and creates irregular heartbeats. All these force the heart to work harder. Other chemical compounds such as tar and carbon monoxide also build up plaque in the arteries. They also stimulate blood clotting factors such as cholesterol and fibrinogen that can cause heart attacks.
High Blood Pressure
Though blood pressure can vary with activity and age, a healthy adult at rest generally has a systolic pressure reading between 120 and 130 and a diastolic pressure reading between 80 and 90. Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against the walls of the arteries. Elevated blood pressure indicates a narrowing of your blood vessels forcing your heart to pump harder to move blood throughout your body. A heart attack can result if the blood flow gets blocked.
The risk of heart attack increases as your age advances. About four of every five deaths due to heart disease occur in people older than sixty-five. Our hearts, just like the rest of our body, also start witnessing wear and tear as we age. The heart walls thicken while the arteries stiffen and harden making it harder for the heart to pump blood to the body. All these significantly increase the likelihood of heart diseases in older people.
Hope the information above on the causes of heart attack was useful to you. Knowledge of the causes can be a great away to avoid the occurrence of heart attacks.