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Heart disease is one of the most common and serious diseases all around the world now days. It is the disease of the highest lethality. Millions of people die because of heart disease every year, and millions of people are suffering from it. For example, according to L. Hoyert and Xu, n.d) ,599,413 people died because of heart disease in 2011, and this was more than the number of people died because of cancer. Although heart diseases can be caused because of a large number of reasons, the main factor that lead to heart disease are obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol.
Obesity is the first cause of heart disease. As the state of being obese due to an excess of body fat, obesity is closely associated with unhealthy lifestyle such as the unbalanced diet, physical inactivity and the development of indoor or sedentary lifestyle. Heart disease which is caused principally by obesity is a leading cause of death and severe disability in affluent countries and will quickly be worldwide. The complex process that obesity affects the heart has been proved. Firstly, lipid disorders are associated with obesity and then an individual will more vulnerable to numerous cardiovascular diseases (Hong Kong Department of Health, 2005). To put it simply, more body fat means more body mass and more blood flowing and it will make heart work harder. Moreover, the strains on the heart will continuously hurt people's hearts, subsequently; heart disease will be caused after that. Additionally, obesity is a major risk factor for several types of heart disease such as hypertensive heart disease and ischemic heart disease.
According to the above, it can be seen that obesity is closely linked to heart disease. However, the relationship between obesity and hypertensive heart disease is quite strong and reflected in sexes, all-groups and every geographical group which has been recognized since early 1900. Mancini (2011) points out that blood pressure level will slowly raise for a long time because of the weight gain, then the left ventricular load will gradually increase with it. As a consequence, hypertensive heart disease will be caused. Furthermore, the prevalence of hypertensive heart disease in people who had high blood pressure is twice times than average weight individuals.
While the hypertensive heart disease which is caused by high blood pressure is associated with obesity, ischemic heart disease known as IHD for short is a disease characterized by ischemia (local anemia) of the heart muscle and can be caused by obesity as well. A research conducted by the World Health Organization in 2012 shows that 28 million adults who are overweight and obesity die every year, among these, 23 percent died with ischemic heart disease. Erling (2009) states that hypertension more likely caused by obesity is often accompanied by coronary atherosclerosis, and coronary atherosclerosis is a potential cause of nearly all cases of IHD which trigger more susceptible to heart failure. Properly speaking, coronary atherosclerosis caused by obesity is the reason for coronary artery stenosis and blocked blood flow. The both factors will directly lead to IHD. Additionally, ischemic heart disease burdens do not increase with sex and ethnic background irrespective of age. Because of this, obesity is a leading cause of IHD in persons of the same age. Even the truth is severe, numerous people still be careless about their lifestyle which will make strong influence on their physical fitness. More seriously, the population of obesity is about twice more than that of 1980, besides, the epidemic of heart diseases, which is closely associated with obesity and urbanization, has raised steeply both in wealthy and poor countries alike (Chan, 2012).
The obesity phenomenon is becoming general and severe because of unhealthy diet and irregular lifestyle. To control heart disease and address this problem, a useful solution is pay more attention to obesity, relevant organizations should encourage obese people to lose weight to relieve the strains on the heart.
Lack of exercise is an another important factor of heart disease. Lack of exercise is a kind of sedentary lifestyle, which can be one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Since the 1970s, a great number of scientific reports have examined the relationships between exercise and heart disease. The U.S. Nurses' Health Study demonstrated that regular exercise is a significant prevention of heart disease (n. A. , 1999 ). One article published on News England by Med. In Sep. 5th has illustrated that prolonged sitting is predicted to be a risk of cardiovascular heart disease (CHD). In the U.S., there are approximately 25 thousands deaths each year due to a lack of regular exercise. However, a large number of adults in the U.S. have a sedentary lifestyle, for example , only less than one third of Americans can achieve the essential body activity requirement, which is five to seven 30-minute sessions each week or approximately 600 to 1200 calories expended per week outlined by Centers for Disease Control, American Heart Association, and American College Control expert (Myers 2003). Reports show that when people do regular exercise, coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs a later age and is less severe (National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; 1996).
Stress is also closely connected with heart disease. Friedman and Lakshmana had found that stress is positively correlational with heart disease in 1977. People who have higher stress will grow heart disease more easily. It has been proved that coronary heart disease (CHD) is related to psychosocial stress in men but the research was rarely taken very much among women. To discover the relationship between CHD and psychosocial stress, Al-Khalili ,et al.made a survey in Stockholm, Sweden.(n.d.) After considering age, status, education level, smoking and other factors, they found that married women or women who were cohabiting with male, martial stress was associated with confidence interval, on a 10-point scale, the increased risk with recurrent CHD level is 1.3-6.5. On the other hand, the risk level of working stress among women is only 0.8-3.3. Both work stress and marital stress are associated with CHD. Marital stress is more serious than work stress among married women. Comparing the findings for marital stress, they found work stress is an important effect of heart disease for men and single women. Different kind of stress has different influence on people in gender.
Not only can obesity and lack of exercise lead to heart disease, but smoking also can cause serious heart problems. In modern society, smoking has become one of the social health problems while a growing number of people use tobacco products, even some of them are under age. Smoking is harmful to people's health. Long-term smoking develops a large amount of diseases, for example, heart disease and respiratory disease. Smoking can bring toxins into blood and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. The deposit of fatty plaques and the scarring and thickening of the artery wall causes atherosclerosis which is a progressive hardening of the artery. Blood clots and inflammation of the artery are the reasons of blood flow obstruction and cause heart attack (Martin, 2009). Australia is a big tobacco consumer country. Although the number of smokers in decreasing year by year, there are numerous people use tobacco products. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) claims that there were around 355,600 Australians with coronary heart disease is primarily caused by smoking in 2001. Coronary heart disease is the most serious heart disease in Australians and occupies a large portion of sudden death. There were 24,576 deaths which accounted for 18.5% all deaths in Australian caused by CHD in 2004.
Smoking causes a large number of patients of heart diseases worldwide. Vast majority smokers were the people who had already had a job or worked for a long time in the past. In recent years, a significant number of smokers are young people, such as university students, middle school students and even elementary school students. This is a primary issue of lowering ages of heart disease. The youngest patient who had been diagnosed with coronary artery stenosis through Coronary Angiography in 4th Affiliated hospital of HMU (Harbin Medical University) was 18 years old (SOHU News, 2006). The whole world faces this serious problem, China is no exception.
China is located in the south end of Eurasia and it has not only the largest population in the world, but also the largest number of smokers. A large number of smokers bring numerous sizable second hand smoke which can causes serious health implications similar to heart disease. Second hand smoking is also called ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke), includes the smoke which put out by smokers and the smoke emerge from cigarette, cigar and pipe, in reference to the gas exhaled by smoker and the smoke from burning tobacco. The damage of second hand smoke is more serious than direct smoking especially on children and it affects people's life in any time at any place:
A doctor from Cardiovascular Medicine at Nationwide Children Hospital and Research Institute took hair and blood samples from 125 children. 57 were between the ages of 2 and 5; 68 were between 9 and 14. Hair samples were used to measure nicotine exposure, and blood samples were used to look for a type of cell called an endothelial progenitor cell (Gordon, 2008).
The main victim of passive smoking is women and children. Although they did not smoke, they usually inhaled second hand smoke from others at home or public places and this is another important issue of heart disease.
Another factor that can cause heart disease is alcohol. According to the University of Illinois (2002), it can result in many heart problems such as Alcohol cardiomyopathy which is a disease that gives rise to the heart to become abnormally enlarged and sick.
Alcohol leads to a weak heart for medical reasons, and both alcohol and its outcome are poisonous. According to Shaw (2009), when alcohol goes into one's body it reaches the bloodstream, and it will be sent to all the organs of the body including the heart. As a result, if people drink heavily, they will be possible to get heart diseases, and the disease will decrease the heart's ability to pump blood to the whole body. Heart rhythm disturbances and a rapid heart rate can also be caused by high-frequency heavy drinking. The heart rate will return to normal in some hours if the people do not have heart or alcohol problems. However, the fast heart rate can put the person into some more dangerous conditions if the person has heart disease. Moreover, according to the American Heart Association (n.d.), drinking too much can finally lead to heart muscle becoming weak, cardiac arrhythmia, abnormal heartbeat, and sudden cardiac death. Furthermore, men who get heart diseases caused of alcohol are more than women because men have a higher rate of alcohol abuse than women. On the other hand, it seems t1 hat women are more sensitive than men to the poisonous effects of alcohol .More alcohol goes into their blood to affect their heart even though women drink the same amount of alcohol as men. A study of 200 adults (half were women) found that women who drank approximately 60% of what men drank had the same risk as men. (n.A. ,1995)
Age is also an important factor for getting heart disease. Although it can occur in any time of people's life, sometimes even at birth, heart disease caused by alcohol occurs most frequently between the ages of 20 and 60 because people drink most during this period of time.
Culture has a significant effect on how much alcohol people would drink. There are more people in western counties getting heart diseases because of alcohol than in Asia. The reason for this is that Western counties such as America and Italy are more open and alcohol is more general in Western people 's life. Though Asian counties such as China have a very long history of wine culture, the attitude towards alcohol is still pretty conservative. For example, it is still regarded as a negative thing if women drink frequently. Religion also has a very big influence on the intake of alcohol. According to Assunta (2006), some religions such as Islam and Buddhism forbids the followers to drink.
Another factor which influences the intake of alcohol is the economy. In the past, people in developed counties usually had a higher possibility getting heart disease caused of alcohol than people in developing countries. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol has been increasing both in developing countries and developed countries these years, and this directly leads to a higher morbidity of heart disease globally. According to Parry (2000), the consumption of alcohol is much more than the amount which Food and Agriculture Organization data shows especially in developing countries nowadays. Recorded alcohol consumption figures underestimate consumption in most developing countries. The reason for this is that many informally-produced and traded alcohol is not taken into account in the Food and Agriculture Organization's statistics. Furthermore, in many developing countries per capita consumption understates the actual consumption of drinkers because the majority of the population, particularly women, does not drink.
There are varieties of causes of heart disease. The main factors are unhealthy lifestyle, for example, lack of exercise which primary causes obesity; heavy stress, smoking and drinking. In particular, as a worldwide public health problem, obesity is linked to heart disease closely and becoming general and severe. What makes people's health conditions worse is that there still many people who know it but do not take any measures of remediation. Lack of exercise is not only a cause of obesity, but also a great factor of heart disease. Furthermore, stress can be another aspect to promote heart disease.What's more, different kind of stress effect can be different in gender.Smoking is a serious threat to people's health and causes varieties of disease, especially cancer and heart disease, is a major killer of the world, called for immediate worldwide attention. Alcohol is also one of the main reasons which lead to heart disease, and sex, age and alcohol itself are associated with the probability of getting heart disease. There are many methods to avoid heart disease. For instance, exercise more and regularly and develop healthy lifestyle. There are also something government can do such as decreasing the pressure of finding a job, housing pressure and other stress. What 's more ,it is very important to quit smoking and alcohol as early as possible. To limit people buying cigarette and alcohol, the government should increase the price of these things if possible. Moreover, schools should emphasize the harm of smoking and drinking to students to avoid this social problem from an early age.