The heart is an organ that supplies blood throughout your entire body. The heart is made up of three layers: epicardium (outermost layer), myocardium (middle layer), and the endocardium (innermost layer). The myocardium is the thick muscle layer that pumps and propels blood through the body’s circulatory system (which consists of arteries, veins, and capillaries). In order to have a well functioning heart, valves help blood flow in the right directions and in the right amounts to keep your heart at a rate needed to work well.
Diseases or injuries weaken your heart and can lower or raise your blood pressure. A substance called plaque which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood can narrow or block your arteries, and this limits or blocks the flow of blood to your organs. This disease is called atherosclerosis and can lead to serious problems such as heart attacks, stroke, or even death.
Immediate steps can help to lower a person’s risk of developing heart disease such as quitting smoking, exercise regularly, develop healthy eating habits, manage stress, get quality sleep, and plan regular health check-ups.