The Heart

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors involved with coronary heart disease.

Blood cholesterol

Cholesterol is required by the body for functions like vitamin D production in the skin, production of sex hormones, bile acid production, and in order to make cell membranes. However, too much is not healthy.

It’s carried in the blood by lipoproteins of which there are two types: low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL transport cholesterol from the liver to the tissues. Usually, some cholesterol leaks from the lipoproteins and is then taken up to build cell membranes. However, if too much leaks out then this leads to atherosclerosis. HDL, on the other hand, collects the cholesterol left on the arterial walls and then transports it away from the tissues to the liver.

Diet

Eating too many foods containing LDLs can lead to cardiovascular disease. This is why it is very important to be aware of what you’re eating.

  • Reduce the amount of saturated and trans-fats.
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain foods and soluble fibres.
  • Reduce alcohol and salt intake.