As mentioned before, CAD is caused by the unwanted build-up of plaque within the walls of the coronary arteries which leads to restriction of blood flow to the heart (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Risk factors that are associated with increasing one’s chance of developing CAD are high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes/obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high stress, and family history (Mayo Clinic, 2017). There are two forms of cholesterol that travel within the blood: HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) known as the good cholesterol and LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) known as the bad cholesterol. High cholesterol is correlated with high levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol. The reason high cholesterol levels increase…show more content… Hypertension is defined as the amount of pressure blood flow exerts into the arteries. This becomes a problem because hypertension ultimately puts an added force against the walls of the arteries making them more susceptible to not only narrowing of the artery walls but to plaque build-up as well. The added force associated with hypertension also begins to diminish the elasticity and strength of the artery walls which limits the amount of blood flow that can reach the myocardium.
Type 2 Diabetes which is a direct cause of obesity is known to increase the chances of one developing CAD. Type 2 diabetes is correlated with high glucose levels due to insulin resistance. The hormone Insulin converts glucose into glycogen which is stored in the liver and is later used as fuel by the body. With insulin resistance, one’s body does not respond well to the hormone, so the body continues to produce more and more insulin without storing glucose as glycogen within the liver. This leads to an increased level of glucose in the bloodstream which can become an issue. Elevated glucose levels can lead to a decrease in the amount of HDL within the bloodstream leading to elevated levels of LDL within the bloodstream (Health line, 2015). The increase of LDL cholesterol within the bloodstream leads to the build-up of cholesterol within the coronary arteries