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Heart Disease by Elizabeth Morales

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In the US, the most common type is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack happens when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to a part of the heart. It can cause the heart muscle to die. Surviving a heart attack requires necessary changes in lifestyle and taking medications recommended by your doctor, depending on the extent of damage caused and the degree of heart disease. 


Coronary heart disease is when the heart doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. It affects the larger coronary arteries on the surface of the heart, while coronary microvascular disease affects the tiny arteries within the heart muscle. The former is commonly caused by cholesterol buildup within the coronary arteries, leading to partial or total blockage of blood flow. 


High blood pressure, unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, and obesity are the major risk factors for heart disease. Eating a high-fat diet, not getting enough physical activity, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking tobacco increases risk for heart disease. It's important to measure your blood pressure, get your cholesterol checked, and talk to your doctor about ways to prevent or manage diabetes and control other risk factors. 


Heredity plays a role in heart disease, being the leading cause of death for both men and women, and the risk rises with age. Certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to have conditions that increase their risk for cardiovascular disease. 


References: 

“Heart Disease | cdc.gov.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Sept. 2023, www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/index.htm.

“What Is Cardiovascular Disease?” www.heart.org, 15 Dec. 2023, 

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