Understanding Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is the most common heart disease in the world. It is ranked as the number one killer for both men and women in the United States. The disease formulates after plaque builds in the coronary arteries that surround the heart. Each of these arteries delivers to the heart oxygenated blood. Over a period of plaque build-up, the plaque can become hard or break open. When the plaque breaks open, a blood clot formulates at the surface. This clot can completely block the blood flow to the heart, thus eliminating oxygenated blood. This ruptured plaque can further narrow and block the coronary artery.
Remember that blood pressure is the ultimate force of blood pushing against the artery walls as the heart pumps blood throughout the rest of the body. When a person is affected with high blood pressure, the pressure in his or her arteries is too high, altering the health of other parts of the body. Therefore, high blood pressure can contribute to coronary heart disease formation.
Heart attacks are a result of this blockage. The attacks create permanent, ultimate damage to heart muscles. When a clot, a spasm, or a narrow wall blocks the coronary artery, the heart is without oxygen and takes permanent damage.
When people have high blood pressure, their risks of coronary artery disease, or atherosclerosis, increase.
High blood pressure further promotes greater pressure against these coronary artery walls. As the arteries become hardened after repair of the injuries sustained from high blood pressure, the arteries have a greater risk of narrowing and promoting heart attack and failure.
These damaged arteries further block blood flow to other parts of the body, such as the brain and the kidneys. This can further lead to congestive heart failure, blindness, and kidney diseases.
The Link Between Blood Pressure and Diabetes
People with diabetes are unable to create enough insulin, have high blood glucose levels, or do not respond adequately to insulin in the blood stream. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels and affects over three hundred million people all over the world. Furthermore, people with diabetes have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease; therefore, blood pressure levels must be continually monitored.
High blood pressure can elevate and worsen diabetes symptoms and complications like kidney disease and eye disease. Furthermore, many people who already have diabetes usually develop high blood pressure somewhere down the line. This is because diabetes alters arteries and makes them more susceptible to hardening, a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can elevate risks of high blood pressure, which ultimately leads to heart failure, stroke, blood vessel damage, and kidney failure.
People with diabetes should monitor their blood pressure readings to avoid heart attack and stroke. Their systolic pressure should be no more than 140, while their diastolic pressure should be no more than 80. Diabetics should understand that blood pressure numbers are just as important as blood sugar numbers with regards to maintaining proper health.