Heart disease in men
Men develop heart risks 10 years earlier, on average than women. They also have an early warning sign that few can slip: erectile dysfunction (ED). “Sexual problems often predict heart problems.” On the bright side, any risk factor, including erectile dysfunction, that catches your attention can steer you toward better preventive care.
Cardiac risk factor
“Many persons think of erectile dysfunction as the incapability to get an erection, but an early sign of the condition is not being able to uphold an erection long enough to have filling sex,” says a Johns Hopkins expert. Erection problems are not a normal part of aging as many people think; rather, they almost always indicate a physical problem.
A key reason why erectile dysfunction is considered a barometer of cardiovascular health, in general, is that the penis, like the heart, is a vascular organ. Because your arteries are so much smaller than your heart’s, arterial damage appears first there, often years before symptoms of heart disease. Men in their 40s who have creation problems (but no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease) have an 80 percent risk of developing heart problems in 10 years.
Treatment tends to be successful when started as soon as you begin to notice erection problems for more than a couple of months. An ER exam by a doctor will address risk factors for heart disease, such as prediabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight, hopefully long before they result in a heart attack or stroke.
Having a low testosterone level is often considered just a decrease in sex drive, but is increasingly being seen to be linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes, says the expert. He notes that a growing body of research designates that “low T” can be considered a cardiovascular and metabolic risk factor.\
“These ideas are still being thoughtful, but we know, for example, that people with stomach obesity [so-called ‘abdominal fat’] or metabolic syndrome tend to have low testosterone levels,” says the expert. Metabolic syndrome (which includes high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and too much weight in the midsection) and diabetes are the main risk factors for heart disease.
Low testosterone is just one part of a general picture of heart risk, says the expert. But it can be motivating, and even life-saving, to know that changes in your sexual function are closely related to the rest of your body. It’s worth getting checked out when something doesn’t seem right. “Men are often not related with this problem or measured for risk of stroke or heart attack until it occurs,” he says. “But sexual problems are a message they hear.”
Stress, anger, and anxiety raise blood pressure levels and stress hormones and can limit blood flow to the heart. Some damages may be immediate. In the two hours after an angry outburst, for example, your risk of a heart attack is nearly five times higher and your risk of a stroke three times higher, research has shown.
What’s more, the effects of chronic stress can build up over time and damage your arteries. Men who have angry or hostile personalities, in particular, are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Sexual problems related to heart disease can cause additional anxiety or stress in relationships. Stress can also affect your sleep, which in turn affects your heart health.
“Physical, expressive and psychological factors are all interrelated when it comes to heart health” When somebody has chronic stress, depression, or anxiety, they should have a basic assessment of all risk factors for heart disease.”
Main risk factors that cannot be changed
You may be born with sure risk factors that cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of emerging coronary heart disease. Since there is nothing you can do about these risk factors, it is even more important that you monitor the risk factors that can be changed.
Most of the people who die from coronary heart disease are 65 or older. While heart attacks can affect people of both sexes in old age, women are at higher risk of dying (within a few weeks).
Men have a higher risk of heart attack than women, and men have it earlier.
Even after females reach menopausal age when the female death rate from heart disease increases, women’s risk of heart attack is inferior to men’s.
Heredity (including race)
Children of parents with heart disease are more probable to develop heart disease.
African Americans have more severe high blood pressure than Caucasians and an increased risk of heart disease. This is due in part to higher rates of obesity and diabetes.
Most people with a robust family history of heart disease have one or more risk factors. Just as you can’t control your age, gender, and race, you can’t control your family history. Therefore, it is even more important to treat and control any other modifiable risk factors you have.
Main risk factors that you can modify, treat or control
The risk of smokers developing coronary heart disease is much higher than that of nonsmokers.
Smoking is a powerful independent risk factor for sudden cardiac death in patients with coronary artery disease. Smoking also interrelates with other risk factors to greatly increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Experience in hand-me-down smoke increases the risk of heart disease even for nonsmokers.
High blood cholesterol
As blood cholesterol upsurges, so do the risk of coronary heart disease. When other risk factors are also current (such as high blood pressure and tobacco smoke), this risk increases even more. A person’s cholesterol level is also pretentious by age, sex, heredity, and diet. Here’s the lowdown on:
Your total cholesterol score is intended using the following equation: HDL + LDL + 20 percent of your triglyceride level.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol = “bad” cholesterol
A low level of LDL cholesterol is considered good for your heart health. However, your LDL number should not be the primary factor in supervisory treatment to prevent heart attacks and strokes, according to the latest guidelines from the American Heart Association. Additionally, patients taking statins no longer need to lower LDL cholesterol levels to a specific target number. Lifestyle factors, such as a diet high in soaked and trans fats, can raise LDL cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol = “good” cholesterol
With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are usually better. Low HDL cholesterol places you at higher risk for heart disease. People with high blood triglyceride levels generally also have lower HDL cholesterol. Genetic factors, type 2 diabetes, smoking, being overweight, and being sedentary can lower HDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. Normal triglyceride levels vary by age and gender. A high triglyceride level joint with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fat deposits within the walls of the veins that increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure increases the workload of the heart, which causes the heart muscle to thicken and become stiffer. This tightening of the heart muscle is not normal and causes the heart to function abnormally. It also upsurges your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and heart failure with gestures.
When high blood pressure is current along with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, or diabetes, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases even more.
A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Regular moderate to vigorous physical activity helps reduce the risk of cardiac disease. Physical action can help control blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help lower blood pressure in some persons.
Obesity and overweight
People who have excess body fat, particularly if a large amount is around the waist, are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if those same people have no other risk factors.