Risk of cardiovascular disease:Atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is the hardening of arteries caused by the build-up of fibrous plaque called an atheroma. Atheroma formation is the cause of many cardiovascular diseases and occurs as following:
Atherosclerosis - Step 1 - Damage
The first step and so the cause of atherosclerosis is damage to the endothelium of an artery.
The endothelium is a very thin layer of cells that lines the inside of an artery and thus is quite vulnerable to damage from the high pressure blood flow that an artery (the blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart) has to deal with.
Atherosclerosis - Part 2 - Inflammatory Response
After the endothelium has been damaged, an inflammatory response occurs.
White blood cells leave the blood vessel and move into the artery wall.
Chemicals accumulate on the white blood cells, particularly cholesterol.
This deposit is called an atheroma (making up the 'athero' in 'atherosclerosis')
Atherosclerosis - Part 3 - Sclerosis
Fibrous tissue and calcium salts add themselves to the atheroma formed.
This creates a hard plaque (hard swelling of the aterial wall)
As a result, elasticity of the artery is lost.
Atherosclerosis - Part 4 - Positive Feedback
Since the plaques make the artery narrower (by taking up space in the lumen), blood pressure is raised.
Higher blood pressure increases the chance of atherosclerosis and therefore as atherosclerosis increases, the chance of acquiring further atherosclerosis increases
Atherosclerosis is multi-factorial and has modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors
1.Genetics遗传因素(genetic predisposition to high blood pressure etc.)2.Age年龄 (arteries become less elastic with age)3.Diet饮食 (diet can increase cholesterol)4.High blood pressure高血压 (can damage endothelium)5.High cholesterol levels高血脂6.Smoking吸烟 (nicotine narrows arteries)7.Physical inactivity不运动 (increases obesity risk)8.Obesity肥胖 (increases blood pressure etc.)
Thus risk of CDV can be reduced by stopping smoking, regular exercise,
reducing consumption of alcohol, dietary changes and maintaining healthy body weight.
Exercise:Make it a hobby to find some physical activity you enjoy.
★ Start slow and work up to 30 minutes of walking daily.
★ Take the stairs. Walk up one flight, or down two.
★ At the grocery store, park the car at the far end of the lot and walk.
★ Take an extra lap around the mall before heading home.
Diet:Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily is effective at preventing heart disease.
Make it a habit to try something different in the produce aisle each time you hit the supermarket.