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The Cardiovascular Disease: Risk Factors

The three main risk factors for cardiovascular disease include hypertension, diabetes, and obesity (World Heart Federation, 2014). The three risk factors are modifiable since they are treatable and we can change them. Diabetes, especially Type2 diabetes, is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke (World Heart Federation, 2014). Medical research proves that a person with diabetes is more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than a person with no diabetes is (World Heart Federation, 2014). More specifically, failure to control diabetes leads to the development of cardiovascular disease at an earlier age (World Heart Federation, 2014). Diabetes fosters hypertension and type 2 diabetes is prominent in overweight or obese people, which is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (National Institutes of Health, 2011). More so, premenopausal women with diabetes are more prone to cardiovascular disease (World Heart Federation, 2014).

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Ideally, uncontrolled diabetes damages our body’s blood vessels subjecting them to damage from atherosclerosis and hypertension (World Heart Federation, 2014). Moreover, Type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can damage the arteries (NHS, 2014) and diabetes can develop ‘silent’ heart attacks, because diabetes damages the nerves and blood vessels (World Heart Federation, 2014). Luckily, we can control diabetes through a recommended management plan. For a patient, who is yet to develop a heart disease, I will advise to control their blood sugar, maintain a healthy diet, and lose weight to improve their health and reduce the risk of a cardiovascular disease (World Heart Federation, 2014). Such patients should also stop smoking, take diabetes medicine metformin, engage in physical activity, make lifestyle changes, and receive education about diabetes. An education plan with these components will reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in my diabetic patients.

Hypertension is seemingly the greatest modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Indeed, hypertension is the biggest risk factor for stroke and plays a significant role in heart attacks. Hypertension can distort the artery walls and constrain the body’s blood vessels, causing them to clog or weaken thus developing a blood clot (World Heart Federation, 2014). Notably, hypertension in people less than 50 years old has a great risk for cardiovascular disease (National Institutes of Health, 2011). Ideally, 50% of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes result from hypertension (World Heart Federation, 2014). As such, hypertension derives the greatest risk for cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, we can control hypertension through a recommended management plan. For a patient who is yet to develop a heart disease, I will advise to maintain a healthy low salt diet, quit smoking, maintain healthy weight, engage in physical activity, and learn to manage stress. Furthermore, I will also advise them to limit their alcohol uptake. These aspects control high blood pressure thus reducing the risk for other health problems like cardiovascular disease.

Obesity is another modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Indeed, obesity or being overweight increases the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis (NHS, 2014). Obese people have intra-abdominal fat that affects their blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and alters their capacity to consume insulin effectively (World Heart Federation, 2014). Ideally, effective use of insulin plays a fundamental role in processing glucose derived from food. As such, patients who fail to use insulin properly are prone to diabetes, which propagates cardiovascular disease (World Heart Federation, 2014). However, we can prevent obesity through a recommended management plan. For a patient who is yet to develop a heart disease, I will advise to follow a healthy eating plan, engage in physical activity, and maintain healthy weight, body mass index, and waist circumference. I will also advise them to reduce the screen time by limiting the use of televisions, computers, and other electrical devices, which reduce our commitment to physical activity. In including these aspects in the education plan, I will significantly help my obese patient to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease.

References

National Institutes of Health. (2011). What Are Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors? Web.

NHS. (2014). Cardiovascular disease – Risk factors. Web.

World Heart Federation. (2014). Cardiovascular disease risk factors. Web.

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