Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Over 35? Beware of Vascular Diseases

Over 35? Beware of Vascular Diseases

"People after the age 35 are exposed to the diseases with unsuspecting occurrences, particularly the vascular diseases, which lead to the deadly heart attack and stroke," said dr. Siselia Titis Iramawati of the Pertamina Central Hospital, Jakarta.

Coronary heart disease is a condition in which the heart cannot work properly due to its cardiac muscle is starved of oxygen rich-blood, which is disrupted by the constriction or hardening of the blood vessel, a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a process triggered by prolonged dyslipidemia. This might occur without any apparent suspicious symptoms. Dyslipidemia is indicated by the increasing level of the total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride and the decreasing level of HDL cholesterol. As widely known, LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol, while HDL cholesterol is the good one.

Nevertheless, it turns out that a patient with normal cholesterol might also have a sudden heart attack with fatal consequences. It is possible because coronary heart diseases are multi-factorial in nature, despite the fact that dyslipidemia has been known as the main risk factor of atherosclerosis, which might develop into heart attack and stroke. Hypertension, smoking habit, diabetes mellitus, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and stress are the risk factors of heart diseases and stroke too.

Furthermore, the development process of the atherosclerosis to be heart attack or stroke is very complex. It is affected by many factors and needs a long period of time. Thus, the normal level of cholesterol does not guarantee that you are free from heart attack or stroke. A patient might have a normal level of LDL cholesterol, but if he/she has more amount of small-sized LDL cholesterol, or known as small, dense LDL, it turns out that he/she is more threatened because this small, dense LDL more easily gets trapped and enters the inner coat of blood vessel (intima).

Another very dangerous cholesterol is Lp (a) [lipoprotein a], which causes cholesterol build-up on the inner coat of the blood vessel. When the level of Lp (a) is more than 18 mg/dl, the risk of heart attack and stroke will double.

As we know, cholesterol is a kind of lipid required by the body to form cell membrane, insulator, and materials for a certain hormone. Cholesterol also helps the digestive process. Most (80 percent) cholesterol required by the body is produced by the liver, while the rest (20 percent) is generated from the consumed foods, particularly the animal source foods. The cholesterol is transported throughout the entire body by the bloodstream in one compound with protein, which is called ' lipoprotein' .

Conclusively, the danger of high cholesterol can be perceived as the occurrence of liver disorder to produce the required cholesterol (HDL) or excessive supply of the bad cholesterol (LDL). In addition, someone with a high level of triglyceride needs to be cautious for this condition can cause the more formation of small, dense LDL. The normal level of triglyceride is no more than 200 mg/dl. It will be dangerous if reaching 400 mg/dl.