[acb-diabetics] ARE YOU LIABLE TO GET CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
plawolf at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 24 13:49:46 EDT 2011
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR CAROTID ARTERY DISEASE?
Certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise your risk for carotid artery
disease. These conditions are known as risk factors. The more risk factors
you have, the more likely you are to get the disease. You can control some,
but not all, risk factors.
The major risk factors for carotid artery disease, listed below, also are
the major risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart disease.
- Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels. This includes high LDL
cholesterol (sometimes called bad cholesterol) and low
HDL cholesterol (sometimes called good cholesterol).
- High blood pressure. Blood pressure is considered high
if it stays at or above 140/90 mmHg over time.
- Smoking. This can damage and tighten blood vessels, raise
cholesterol levels, and raise blood pressure. Smoking also
can limit how much oxygen reaches the body's tissues.
- Older age. As you get older, your risk for carotid artery
disease goes up. About 1 percent of adults aged 50 to 59 have
major plaque buildup in the carotid arteries. In contrast,
10 percent of adults aged 80 to 89 have this problem.
Before age 75, the risk is greater in men than women.
However, after age 75, the risk is higher in women.
- Insulin resistance. This condition occurs when the body
can't use its own insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone
that helps move blood sugar into cells where it's used.
Insulin resistance may lead to diabetes.
- Diabetes. With this disease, the body's blood sugar level
is high because the body doesn't make enough insulin or
doesn't use its insulin properly. People who have diabetes
are four times more likely to have carotid artery disease
than people who don't have diabetes.
- Overweight or obesity. The most useful measure of overweight
and obesity is the body mass index (BMI). BMI measures your
weight in relation to your height and gives an estimate of
your total body fat. A BMI between 25 and 29 is considered
overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. You
can check your BMI using our online BMI calculator, or
your doctor can check your BMI.
- Metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the name for a
group of risk factors that raise your risk for stroke and
other health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Lack of physical activity. Lack of activity can
worsen other risk factors for carotid artery disease.
- Family history of atherosclerosis.
Having any of these risk factors doesn't mean that you will get carotid
artery disease. However, if you have one or more risk factors, you can take
steps to help prevent the disease.
Steps include following a healthy lifestyle and taking any medicines your
doctor prescribes. (For more information, see "How Can Carotid Artery
Disease Be Prevented?" below)
The amount of plaque buildup in the carotid arteries also may suggest plaque
buildup in other arteries. Doctors can predict the degree of atherosclerosis
in other arteries based on the thickness of the carotid arteries. Thus,
people who have carotid artery disease also are more likely to have CAD.
HOW CAN CAROTID ARTERY DISEASE BE PREVENTED?
Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay carotid
artery disease and stroke. The more risk factors you have, the more likely
you are to get carotid artery disease.
Making lifestyle changes and taking prescribed medicines are important
steps. For information on healthy eating plans, physical activity,
maintaining a healthy weight, and medicines.
Know your family history of health problems related to carotid artery
disease. If you or someone in your family has this disease, be sure to tell
your doctor. Also, let your doctor know if you smoke.
This article is available online here:
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