What is the leading cause of heart attacks worldwide?
That’s athero, which talks about the vessels in our heart, plus sclerosis, which means fibrosis of those vessels.
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of heart attacks worldwide. Understanding how this disease can lead to an attack starts with how your immune system works both for you and against you.
The good news is that thanks to medical advancements, people are living longer and surviving in the face of this disease.
So what are the symptoms of a heart attack? Symptoms of a heart attack include pain down the left side of your arm, shortness of breath, nausea and these are all associated with that cutoff of blood flow to the heart.
Risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attacks include things that you can control like smoking, obesity, and diet—especially cholesterol. And some you can’t control, like age.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s made by our liver, and also absorbed from animal-derived foods. And there are two main types—HDL and LDL, commonly referred to as “good” and “bad” cholesterol. The bad cholesterol builds up on the walls of your arteries, increasing your risk of a heart attack, while HDL or good cholesterol works to clear bad cholesterol out.
On this episode of SICK, we sat down with DeLisa Fairweather, a PhD researchers in Jacksonville, Florida working at the Mayo Clinic, to learn more about the most common cause of heart attacks worldwide. Watch to learn more.
One avocado a day helps lower 'bad' cholesterol for heart healthy benefits
New research suggests that eating one avocado a day may help keep 'bad cholesterol' at bay. According to the researchers, bad cholesterol can refer to both oxidized low-densitiy lipoprotein (LDL) and small, dense LDL particles.
Identity-shifting cells protect against rupture in atherosclerosis
Evidence Of Heart Disease Found In Mummies
Atherosclerosis, or a disease of the arteries characterised by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls, has largely been thought of as unique to modern Homo sapiens as a result of our modern high fat, high carb diet, higher stress lifestyle, and ever industrialising environment. However, the HORUS Study Group found back in 2013 that atherosclerosis existed at least as far back as 4000 bce. Furthermore, out of 137 mummified remains from 16th century Greenlandic Inuit communities from 3 continents across wide variations in lifestyle and heritage, 34 were found to have arterial calcification proving that heart disease has been an undeniable issue amongst our species far longer than anticipated and its factors may be more complicated than originally assumed.
New imaging modality targets cholesterol in arterial plaque
Cholesterol in plaque, along with fat, calcium, and other blood-transported substances, can lead to atherosclerosis, a disease which can cause heart attacks or strokes. Early detection of cholesterol can lead to earlier treatments and improved health outcomes. Toronto-based researchers have demonstrated a unique detection technique that combines laser photoacoustics, a hybrid optical-acoustic imaging technology, with low-power continuous wave lasers and frequency-domain signal processing, in an approach known as photoacoustic radar. This advanced technology can accurately evaluate plaque-based cholesterol, and allow for more timely treatment of atherosclerosis.
SICK is a new series that looks at how diseases actually work inside our body. We'll be visiting medical centers and talking to top researchers and doctors to uncover the mysteries of viruses, bacteria, fungi and our own immune system. Come back every Tuesday for a new episode and let us know in the comments which diseases you think we should cover next.