Massachusetts SSA Disability and Cardiovascular Disease: Part TwoEach year many Massachusetts and New England residents apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability program for assistance because they suffer from debilitating heart disease. Knowing more about this condition can help.
The heart is, in many ways, the most important organ in our bodies. About the size of a fist, the heart is a muscular organ that provides your body with oxygen-rich blood, through the constant work of two chambers and four valves. And oxygen richness is what keeps us alive. Since there are over 60 forms of cardiovascular disease, it is difficult to describe all the causes and risks, but some general principles apply to all forms.
Cardiovascular Disease Causes
There are many causes for heart disease. Hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, is the most common form of cardiovascular disease.
One result is heart arrhythmia, which is an abnormal rhythm in the heartbeat. Arrhythmias can be caused by:
- Congenital heart defects
- High blood pressure
- Disease of the coronary artery
- Disease of the valves
- Severe diabetes
- Alcohol and caffeine use, when excessive
- Abuse of drugs
- Medications including some over-the-counter, prescriptions, herbs and supplements
In addition, the heart can become infected by bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Other diseases and allergies to medications can also affect the heart.
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Knowing the risk factors for heart disease can help us to avoid it. Here are the most common factors in heart disease:
- Age: As we age, we become more at risk for damage to and narrowing of the arteries.
- Family History: If you have a parent, brother or sister with heart disease, you may be at greater risk.
- Sex: Males tend to have a greater risk, but the risks increase for post-menopausal women.
- Smoking: Smoking is one causal factor in atherosclerosis because of the damage of both nicotine and carbon monoxide.
- Poor eating habits: You are what you eat. Generally, high fat, cholesterol and salt in a diet can be a risk factor.
- High cholesterol: When your blood cholesterol levels are high, plaque formation increases.
- High blood pressure: When blood pressure is not controlled, hardening of the arteries results.
- Obesity and diabetes: Being overweight can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and some forms of diabetes are caused by obesity.
- Lack of exercise: A "couch potato" lifestyle can lead to many forms of heart disease.
- Stress: Severe, unrelenting emotional and/or physical stress is linked to heart disease.
- Lack of cleanliness: Heart infections can be contracted due to poor hygiene habits like not washing hands. Dental hygiene may also be a factor in heart disease.
If you or a loved one suffers from heart disease and has been denied by the SSA disability program, you should not give up. Contact an experienced, aggressive Boston Social Security disability specialist.
Keefe Disability Law successfully overturns claim denials, helping people throughout New England get back to a more normal life. Call toll free today at 888-904-6847 for a free case evaluation.