Heart Disease

Risk Factors Of Heart Disease

According to the World Health Organisation, more people die annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause. Out of various types of cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world. Understanding more about this disease will help you prevent it. 

What is Coronary Heart Diseases?

Coronary heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of arteries due to plaque build-up.

Why Does it Occur?

When we consume excessive fat, fatty material and other substances form a plaque that sticks to the walls of arteries, narrowing them over time and slowing blood flow to the heart. Heart failure occurs when blood flow to the heart is partially obstructed, and a heart attack occurs when it is fully obstructed.

What are the Symptoms?

  • angina — chest pain or discomfort — is the most common symptom when blood flow to the heart is restricted
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue

Other Types of Heart Disease

  • arrhythmia: irregular heartbeat — either too fast or too slow — leads to lack of blood flow to the heart
  • sudden death syndrome: cardiac arrest brought on by irregular heart rhythms and ventricular fibrillation
  • cardiomyopathy: heart failure due to deterioration of heart muscle

What are the Risk Factors?

Modifiable risk factors include

  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • hyperlipidemia
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • depression
  • stress
  • social isolation
  • lack of social support


Non-modifiable risk factors include

  • race (Hispanics and Indians are at higher risk)
  • gender (males are at higher risk)
  • age (the elderly are at higher risk)


Hypertension as a Risk Factor

Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension occurs when the force against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body is higher than normal, ie 140/90mmHg or higher. Hypertension is the most common risk factor and a major indicator of impending heart failure: in the long-term Framingham studies, 91% of people with hypertension suffered heart failure.


Types of Hypertension

  • essential/primary: triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors
  • secondary: triggered by other medical conditions
  • malignant: the most severe form; often leads to organ damage
  • isolated systolic: triggered by old age and poor diet
  • white coat/anxiety-induced: triggered when patients are nervous, especially around doctors and clinics
  • resistant: blood pressure doesn’t dip below 140/90mmHg despite strong medication


Overcoming Risk Factors the TCM Way

Eu Yan Sang’s Physician Lee Guang Jun offers some practical advice if you face the following heart attack risks:

Risk Factor



  • observe a healthy diet
  • maintain exercise regimen
  • go for regular health checks


  • ascertain and handle causes of stress
  • adopt a positive outlook

Excessive drinking/smoking

  • stop drinking alcohol
  • quit smoking
  • drink plenty of water
  • eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Unhealthy diet

  • avoid oily food
  • reduce salt intake
  • cook by steaming, stewing or boiling

Mood swings

  • get plenty of rest
  • consciously keep temper in check


Eu Yan Sang CholesFREE

High levels of blood cholesterol can lead to arterial blockages and thus heart disease. The good news is that TCM herbal treatments have been shown in clinical studies to be very effective in regulating cholesterol levels in the body. One such herb is red yeast rice. In use since 800AD, it contains naturally occurring substances that support healthy cholesterol levels, and has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by 18% over eight weeks in trials run in Taiwan.

CholesFREE is made with 100% red yeast rice that has been processed using Eu Yan Sang’s patented technique known as ZEROTOX, which retains the appropriate active compounds while reducing the amount of impurities arising during fermentation.

Find out more





This is an adaptation of an article, “Love Your Heart”, which first appeared in Issue 5 of Natura magazine