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“Healing the Heart” by Kahn Essay

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Updated: Mar 19th, 2022

Introduction

Heart disease, also known as Cardiopathy, involves a group of disorders such as coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular disease, ischaemic heart disease, and heart failure, which affect the functions of the heart. Many scientists have proposed several predisposing factors for heart disease. These factors include consumption of cheese and meat, high levels of stress, and smoking. However, current studies indicate that genetic factors can play a role in the development and progress of the disease (Kahn, 2010).

If identified earlier, these factors can help physicians to control the development of heart disease. This essay presents a summary of the article “Healing the Heart”, by Jennifer Kahn, which describes the meaning of heart disease and the development of the disease. In addition, the essay describes the risk factors for heart disease and its current treatments and preventatives.

Heart disease

According to Kahn (2010), heart disease is a complication of the heart whereby about 90% of the coronary artery is blocked due to the narrowing and hardening of arterial walls that is caused by coronary atherosclerosis. Contrary to other complications of the heart, heart disease can cause heart failure and heart attacks. Therefore, the disease kills more than 500,000 people annually in the United States. In addition, the disease causes 7.2 million deaths annually in the world (Kahn, 2010, p. 2 of 7).

Risk factors for Heart Disease

Risk factors include the activities, diets, and lifestyle components that act to aggravate the deleterious effects of heart disease. According to Kahn (2010), the disease can be worsened when individuals adopt western lifestyles such as depending on motor vehicle transport systems as opposed to walking, consumption of large amounts of meat and cheese, and leading sedentary lives with limited physical exercise. In addition, smoking can also contribute to increased incidences of heart disease.

Development of Heart Disease

The heartbeat and blood pressure helps to keep arteries wide open and clear of any blocking material such as fat and cholesterol. However, when the arteries are bent, fat and cholesterol can gather in the arterial walls and become oxidized. Consequently, another solid matter in the blood is also deposited on the oxidized fats, which finally calcifies to form a plague. When blood forces its way past the plague, it can rupture and crack the arterial wall thereby causing blood coagulation. Subsequently, the artery is blocked by the formation of blood clots, which deprive the heart of oxygen and essential nutrients. These events culminate into a heart attack, heart failure, and ischemia.

Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease

To eliminate or reduce the deleterious symptoms of the disease, many Cardiologists recommend the use of drugs, which act to reduce cholesterol levels in the body such as Statins. Statins can also clear the coronary arteries of any deposited cholesterols (Kahn, 2010). Moreover, Cardiologists play a major role in terms of giving advice to their patients on the appropriate lifestyles, diets, and activities that can prevent the development of the disease.

In case a patient is suffering from advanced forms of the disease, Cardiologists perform surgical procedures to reverse the heart complications. These procedures can also involve bypassing the blocked arteries to allow the efficient flow of blood to the heart. Another procedure performed by Cardiologists to reverse the symptoms of heart disease is Angioplasty, which entails the mechanical widening of narrowed coronary arteries. Moreover, heart and arterial transplants can enhance the performance of severely damaged hearts.

Conclusion

The essay presents a detailed summary of the article “Healing the Heart”, which examines coronary heart disease in the context of its meaning, development of the disease, risk factors, and its current treatment and preventatives. From the discussions, the article shows that heart disease involves several diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles, smoking, and consumption of large amounts of meat and cheese. However, the article identifies another unique risk factor related to the genetic make-up of an individual which can possibly predispose one to heart disease. Therefore, future studies should be centered on these genetic factors because of their importance in the early detection and prevention of the disease.

Reference

Kahn, J. (2010). Healing the heart. Current Issue, National Geographic Society. Web.

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