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What Are the Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factors?

Ischemic heart disease, also spelled ischaemic heart disease, is characterized by reduced blood flow to the muscle of the heart, and is most often caused by coronary artery disease. In this case, then, the ischemic heart disease risk factors are the same as those for coronary artery disease. Some of these are genetic, but many are caused by lifestyle choices, and can be avoided or changed with some effort. Poor diet, which leads to high cholesterol or diabetes, is one of the most common ischemic heart disease risk factors, as well as smoking. High blood pressure and high levels of stress can also contribute to this condition.

It is helpful to remember that the ischemic heart disease risk factors are those that put extra stress on the heart muscle. There are a number of ways that this can occur. Eating foods that are high in saturated fat can cause high cholesterol, which can restrict blood flow in the arteries that supply the heart. It can also cause weight gain, which also puts extra stress on the heart. Eating a diet high in salt can cause high blood pressure as well, though some people simply have high blood pressure due to genetics and not lifestyle behaviors, which often requires medication to treat.

In addition, eating an unhealthy diet and being significantly overweight can also contribute to Type II diabetes, which is another one of the most common ischemic heart disease risk factors. For many of these issues, changing the diet to reduce fats, salt, and sugar, as well as replacing these with more vegetables, fiber, and lean protein can make a big difference; increasing the amount of regular exercise is another important step. A doctor can run a simple blood test to determine if many of these risk factors are present.

Aside from these genetic and lifestyle-based ischemic heart disease risk factors, high levels of stress can also cause many of these problems, and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Individuals who have had a prior heart attack or stroke are also at a much higher risk for ischemic heart disease, which is something important to keep in mind. It is very important for individuals to quit smoking as well in order to prevent ischemic heart disease, and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, as well as cut the risk of cancer. It is important to remember that in many cases, heart disease is preventable by making some changes.

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