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Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice: HeartDiseaseTask One, C155AHeart DiseaseHeart disease affects the lives of millions of people every year so it is important to understand the characteristics and risk factors associated with this condition. Risk factors for heart disease fall under two categories: modifiable risks and nonmodifiable risks. Modifiable risks include things that we can control such as obesity, smoking and high fat intake whereas nonmodifiable risks include things that we cannot control such as gender, heredity and age. But first, we must understand what heart disease is and how it affects our bodies. Research suggests that heart disease is a result of damage
to the lining and inner layers of the heart arteries. Plaque begins to build up where there are damaged arteries (What Causes Heart Disease, 2014). Factors that can contribute to this damage include smoking, blood vessel inflammation, elevated amounts of sugar in the blood due to insulin resistance or diabetes, high blood pressureand high amounts of fats and cholesterol in the blood. A1. PathophysiologyHeart disease is a clinical manifestation when the heart can not provide a sufficient amount of blood flow to maintain the metabolic requirements for systemic venous return. Heart failure is the result of several mechanisms such as pump function disorder, neurohormonal activation disorder and salt-water retention disorder (Palazzuoli, 2010). It develops when there is an abnormality in cardiac function causingblood to not pump at a healthy rate. Several factors can contribute to the damage including smoking, high blood pressure, inflammation of the blood vessels, and increased amounts of cholesterol in the blood.The average human heart beats almost four million times per year, pumping enough blood to fill an oil tanker during a lifetime. Composed of striated cardiac muscles, the heart is supplied oxygen and nutrients from the coronary arteries. Over time, some people experience damage to the cardiac muscles which can lead to aweakening of the heart’s ability to pump blood. If blood is inadequately being pumped, fluid can build up in the lungs, liver and other vital organs.
There are several conditions that can lead to heart disease including anemia, diabetes, obesity, cardiomyopathy, obstructive sleep apnea and cardiac muscle disease.Diseases related to the heart valves can also cause heart failure. Damaged or leaking valves cause the heart to pump harder pump back-flowing blood. Some of the main pathologies of heart disease include over loading of the ventricle with blood during diastole, lowered cardiac output causing an increase in the heart rate, stroke volume decreasing as the ventricle rises at the end of systole, reduced cardiac reserve and hypertrophy (Mandal, 2009).