Fatty Deposits Clogging Arteries a Main Cause
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About Heart Disease Feb. 1973S;port Times Fatty Deposits Clogging Arteries a Main Cause (EDITOR'S NOTE) — This is the first of a series of columns on medical sub-jects written by Dr. Stephen P. Glasser, caridologist of the Louisiana State Unversi-ty Medical School in Shreve-port). Question: What are the warning signs of heart trou-ble and how does one prevent heart disease? Answer: There are, of course, many different tyres of heart d i s e a s e, but Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease (ASHD for short) is currently the leading cause of heart disease in this country. ASHD is basically a problem of fatty deposits being laid down in the coronary arteries (the arter-ies that supply blood with its oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle itself). These fatty deposits narrow the coronary arteries causing portions of the heart muscle to function without proper nourishment. There are degrees of narrow-ing, so that many people with this process have no warning at all, but suddenly suffer a heart attack. Others do have warning signs that, if observed and a physician's advice sought, could prevent serious consequences. These signs consist mostly of chest pain. Although many varieties of chest pain can occur, most often the pain is located centrally in the chest (under the breast bone) and feels deep and crushing. Or, it may be described as a pressure sensation. This pain may tend to radiate to one or both arms or into the jaw and is frequently associated with n a u s e a and sweating. Usually, exercise or undue mental stress brings the pain on and it lasts a matter of minutes after rest is sought. Although this pain is charae teristic, any chest pain that is severe or recurrent requires a doctor's advice. Rationalization or denial is never wise but particularly so in this situation. It has been found that most patients admitted to the hospital with a heart attack have had By Dr. Stephen Glasser episodes of pain for hours to weeks. Since the highest death rate from heart attack is within the first four hours, after the onset of symptoms, this delay is of grave significance. ASHD appears to be a process of aging, or so it seems currently. However, when this process occurs prematurely (i.e., before the age of 65), one is likely to find a high incidence of predisposing factors or so called "risk factors." A risk factor is a trait or habit that predisposes one to an increased incidence of disease — usually a 100% greater risk or more. Today, we recognize four major risk factors predisposing one to a higher liklihood of developing arteriosclerotic heart disease at an earlier life. This is not to say (as is occasionally assumed by some) that every-one with one or more of these risk factors be protected from ever developing the process. Only, that one is more likely to develop the process when these factors are present. The major risk factors are: 1—A diet high in saturated fat. 2—A high serum cholesterol. 3—High blood pressure. 4—Cigarette smoking. Other risk factors that are) important but do not as strongly preriispose one to arteriosclero-sis are: 1—Excessive o v e r w e i g h t (obesity). 2—Stress. 3—Diabetes mellitus. 4—Lack of exercise. 5—And others. I wiu discuss each of these in subsequent columns.
|Title||Fatty Deposits Clogging Arteries a Main Cause|
Glasser, Stephen P.
Louisiana State University School of Medicine (Shreveport, La.)
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|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|