Plaque build-up in the arteries causes them to narrow, resulting in less effective blood flow to the heart. This can induce chest pain or angina, especially if you are physically active. It also puts you at risk of one of the arteries rupturing and blood clots forming. When large blood clots accumulate they may stop blood flow completely and result in a heart attack. Similarly, having high blood pressure that is untreated puts you at risk of damaging your arteries and making you more prone to plaque accumulation. Chest pain that occurs with exercise needs to be followed up with your doctor, especially if you have one or more of the risk factors for CHD.
Risk factors for CHD include high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, prediabetes and diabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, stress and making unhealthy dietary choices. Managing these risk factors can lower your chances of developing CHD, especially if it is detected early on.
Studies have shown that a 10 mmHg reduction in your systemic blood pressure can lower your chances of developing coronary artery disease by one fifth. Interestingly, your risk of developing CHD starts to climb from a systolic pressure of 115 mmHg, which is a lot lower than the conventional hypertension diagnosis of 130 mmHg. With so many people having prehyptension or high blood pressure, and hypertension generally existing asymptomatically, this means that an alarming number of people are at risk for CHD without even knowing it.
Maintaining your systolic blood pressure at 115 mmHg or less, exercising regularly and having your cholesterol checked regularly are important steps in managing CHD. Getting affordable healthcare in Las Vegas will also ensure you receive a blood pressure management program, as well as advice on how to manage other risk factors for CHD.