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Risk Factors
Cholesterol
 
Excess Blood Cholesterol levels has been identified as the major cause of CAD, so the importance of Controlling Blood Cholesterol levels to avoid the formation of New Blocks in arteries as well as Restenosis cannot be neglected. High and Uncontrolled Cholesterol levels are directly proportional to the Chances of Restenosis and new Lesion Formation and this has been proven by a number of Clinical Studies over a period of time.
 
What Do Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean ?
 
Everyone above the age of 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years.

It is best to have a blood test called a "lipoprotein profile" to find out your cholesterol numbers.

This blood test is done after a 9 to 12 hour fast and gives information about your:
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol -
    the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries

  • HDL (good) cholesterol -
  • helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries

  • Triglycerides -
    another form of fat in your blood

If it is not possible to get a lipoprotein profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. If your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL* or more or if your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipoprotein profile done. See how your cholesterol numbers compare to the tables below.
 
Total Cholesterol Level Categ
 
 
Ideal LDL Cholesterol Level
 
 
What Affects Cholesterol Levels?
 
HDL (good) cholesterol protects against heart disease, so for HDL, higher numbers are better.
  A level less than 40 mg/dL is low and is considered a major risk factor because it increases risk for developing heart disease. Triglycerides can also raise heart disease risk. Levels that are borderline high (150-199 mg/dL) or high (200 mg/dL or more) may need treatment in some people.
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are things you can do something about:
Diet Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level go up. Saturated fat is the main culprit, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in diet helps lower blood cholesterol level.  
  Weight Being overweight is not only a risk factor for heart disease. But it also tends to increase cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as raise HDL and lower triglyceride levels.
Physical Activity Not being physically active is a risk factor for increasing cholesterol levels heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.

 
Things you cannot do anything about also can affect cholesterol levels. These include:
Age and Gender As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women's LDL levels tend to rise.  
  Heredity Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
 
Treating High Cholesterol
 
The main goal of cholesterol-lowering treatment is to lower your Low Density Cholesterol (LDL) level enough to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. The higher your risk, the lower your LDL goal will be. To find your LDL goal, see the box for your risk category below. There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
  • Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) - includes a cholesterol-lowering diet (called the TLC diet), physical activity, and weight management. TLC is for anyone whose LDL is above the ideal level
  • Drug Treatment - if cholesterol-lowering drugs are needed, they are used together with TLC treatment to help lower your LDL.
 
Obesity and Overweight
 
Excess weight may lead to increased total cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Obesity increases your chances of developing other risk factors for heart disease, especially high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes.

(BMI =W [kg]/H [m2])


Many doctors now measure obesity in terms of body mass index (BMI), which is a formula of kilograms divided by height in meters squared . According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), being overweight is defined as having a BMI over 25. Those with a number over 30 are considered obese.
 
"To understand
What is Overweight
try lifting 10 Kgs.
and climb 4 floors"
 
Physical Inactivity
 
People who are not active have a greater risk of Coronary Artery Disease people who exercise regularly. Exercise burns calories, helps to control cholesterol levels and diabetes, and may lower blood pressure. Exercise also strengthens the heart muscle and makes the arteries more flexible. Those who actively burn 500 to 3500 calories per week, either at work or through exercise, can expect to live longer than people who do not exercise. Even moderate-intensity exercise is helpful if done regularly.
 
Stress
 
  • Stress is considered a contributing risk factor for heart disease because little is known about its effects. The effects of emotional stress, behavior habits, and socioeconomic status on the risk of heart disease and heart attack have not been proven. That is because we all deal with stress differently: how much and in what way stress affects us can vary from person to person.
  • Researchers have identified several reasons why stress may affect the heart.
  • Stressful situations raise your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the your heart's need for oxygen. This need for oxygen can bring on angina pectoris, or chest pain, in people who already have heart disease.
  • During times of stress, the nervous system releases extra hormones (most often adrenaline). These hormones raise blood pressure, which can injure the lining of the arteries. When the arteries heal, the walls may harden or thicken, making is easier for plaque to build up.
  • Stress also increases the amount of blood clotting factors that circulate in your blood, and makes it more likely that a clot will form. Clots may then block an artery narrowed by plaque and cause a heart attack.
  • Stress may also contribute to other risk factors. For example, people who are stressed may overeat for comfort, start smoking, or smoke more than they normally would.
 
Combating Stress
 
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Relax. Common Relaxation techniques like Yoga etc may help. If you are too stressed, take a Break.
  • Share issues that stress out with friends and family. It really helps take things off your head.
  • Work related stress can be worked out by planning things out well. Keep realistic goals in your professional life. Identify your priorities in life both professional and Personal and devote time accordingly.
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Avoid Smoking
  • Think of the Worst Case Scenario.
 
Alcohol
 
Studies have shown that the risk of heart disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol is lower than in nondrinkers. Experts say that moderate intake is an average of one drink per day for men and women. One drink is defined as 11/4 fluid ounces (fl oz) of 80-proof spirits (such as bourbon, Scotch, vodka, gin, etc.), 1 fl oz of 100-proof spirits, 4 fl oz of wine, or 12 fl oz of beer. But drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol can cause heart-related problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeats, and cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). And the average drink has between 100 and 200 calories. Calories from alcohol often add fat to the body, which may increase the risk of heart disease. It is not recommended that nondrinkers start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount that they drink.
 
 
 
Age
Older age is a risk factor for heart disease. In fact, about 4 of every 5 deaths due to heart disease occur in people older than 65. As we age, our hearts tend to not work as well. The heart's walls may thicken, arteries may stiffen and harden, and the heart is less able to pump blood to the muscles of the body. Because of these changes, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases with age. Because of their sex hormones, women are usually protected from heart disease until menopause, and then their risk increases. Women 65 and older have about the same risk of cardiovascular disease as men of the same age

Gender
Overall, men have a higher risk of heart attack than women. But the difference narrows after women reach menopause. After the age of 65, the risk of heart disease is about the same between the sexes when other risk factors are similar. Women who develop disease before menopause have same risk of developing CAD as men.

Heredity
Heart disease tends to run in families. For example, if your parents or siblings had a heart or circulatory problem before age 55, then you are at greater risk for heart disease than someone who does not have that family history. Risk factors (including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity) may also be passed from one generation to another.
 
 
 
 
Risk Factors
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Post Angioplasty Lifestyle Modification