The Centers for Disease Control tell us that heart disease is the most common cause of death in both American men and women. In fact, 25% of deaths in the United States are a result of heart disease—that’s 610,000 people each year. These numbers make it clear that heart disease is a force to be reckoned with in terms of its prevalence and danger. So, what are the best ways to prevent heart disease? What are the causes?
What Happens in Heart Disease
Usually, heart disease occurs due to the damage of one or more of the blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and everything else it needs to work properly. In many cases, this blood vessel damage occurs due to an abnormal narrowing of the arteries, something called stenosis. You may have heard of “plaques” building up in your arteries, leading to inflammation and reduced blood flow. Imagine a drain or a pipe clogged with gunk.
Causes of Heart Disease
A few of the most prominent things that can cause dangerous arterial stenosis are:
- Chronic high blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Diabetes or other types of insulin resistance
- Lack of exercise
- Consistently high stress
Often, radiology offices like an MRI center offer another service called an MRA (magnetic resonance angiography), which uses technology similar to that used in MRIs to visually evaluate your arteries for stenosis or other damage. If you demonstrate any of the symptoms that could suggest heart disease or the narrowing of any other arteries in your body, your doctor may recommend that you pursue this imaging at an MRI center.
Preventing Heart Disease
If you do find that you have abnormal narrowing of your arteries, there are treatments and methods to help! A combination of medication and lifestyle changes can help to prevent further damage, so speak to your doctor to develop a plan that will work best for you.
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