Research faces various problems as it tries to come up with conclusive evidence that describes the causes of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). A cardiovascular risk factor is associated with coronary heart disease. The association is nearly always a statistical one, and cannot be used as a foundation for conducting research. Equally, the fact that an individual does not have a particular cardiovascular risk factor does not guarantee protection against heart disease.
Direct evidence, which stress, as well as other similar behavioral factors have a relation to cardiovascular disease is conclusive; However, the information collected, is not conclusive. This is partly due to the fact that these diseases by nature develop over one’s lifetime. This makes it hard to trace the origins. Because how the disease develops takes a lot of time, it is very hard to monitor possible reasons to cardiovascular disease processes, as well as issues with blood pressure. Chronic diseases, for instance, atherosclerosis that has a myriad of causes and requires a lot of time for signs or symptoms of heart disease to develop, needs observation for a long time. However, common patterns can be realized, and changes or intermediate events that occur in body system that have a relation with disease outcome (such as increased blood pressure) are easily recognized as stress function. It can also been researched if stress can be attributed to causing illness. Most of the research is correlation, so it cannot conclusively demonstrate that stress causes heart disease. Subject has elevated levels of stress and illness could both be due to a third variable, perhaps some aspect of personality. For instance, some evidence suggests that neuroticism may make people overly prone to interpret events as stressful this consider unpleasant situations as a manifestation of an illness (Wayne 2006).
Another complicating factor in studies on studies related to coronary heart diseases is that many other behavioral characteristics have an influence on cardiovascular disease, such as cigarette smoking and inactivity in the day-to-day life. Factors like diet and coronary-proven behaviors are correlated with stress. Smoking leads to several outcomes and has a huge effect on cardiovascular health (Brian and Sherman 2006). Both the rich and poor tend to exerts themselves physically; thus, both have an element of physical activity, but still are faced with this disease. For instance, the rich would purchase equipment to help them with exercise while the poor would usually be involved with more physical activity as they try to fend for themselves but still both are at risk of this disease.
High blood cholesterol is also a factor that is attributed to causing coronary heart disease, but problems arise as to whether it is based on lifestyle or not. Even though people within populations have different economic abilities it is hard to determine whether high blood cholesterol is based on the diet because both populations are affected. It is hard to come up with evidence that even some individuals deprived in the space of income are absolutely deprived in the measure of what they can do, or their capability to live a healthy, flourishing life (Black 2007). There exists a hypothesis, called ‘competing causes of death,’ which argues that despite the advancements in health care and lifestyle, the poor will continue to die earlier than the rich unless ‘fundamental’ causes for this is determined. Initially the main causes of inequalities were infectious disease, but this has evolved to include chronic diseases that arise from the lifestyle (Weiten 2007).
Lifestyle determines the diet and in the long run risk factors like high blood cholesterol arise. It is hard for a research to actually prove this fact because even the wealthy who have a better lifestyle they are still affected by high blood cholesterol. Therefore, inequalities in health between the rich and the poor continue irrespective of the disease affecting both groups. It is even hard to establish that if the differences were reduced the prevalence of lifestyle diseases like high blood cholesterol would be reduced. There is also no study to suggest that the inability of the poor to access better medical services would also make them susceptible to be faced with such risk factors like high blood cholesterol (Committee 2009). Researches also realized other factors that influence coronary heart diseases. For example, it is known by researchers that men are more vulnerable than women are when it comes to heart attacks. Likewise, aged individuals have more vascular disease than young people do, while people with high blood pressure have more strokes than those with normal pressure.
Researchers are also faced with another hurdle when it comes to determining risk factors. This is because of the nature in which a condition can be considered a risk. This is usually based on the level that would provide warning of a risk, for instance, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. In both, the level of risk increase is small such that any trial to reduce it would not improve the overall level (Wayne 2006).
A statistical technique called multivariate analysis also allows researchers to find out true associations from causes that are not dependent. For instance drinking coffee, which seemed at first to be related to heart conditions. Multivariate analysis showed that the relation was not neutral, but rather due to the fact that many people smoke cigarettes when they drink coffee. When this fact was taken into account, it became clear that the real causal factor is the cigarette, not the caffeine (Diane 2004).
Researchers; therefore, face various obstacles as they try to determine that it is indeed these risk factors that actually cause Coronary heart Disease (CHD). This is because various contributing factors can be realized and be attributed to this disease. The biggest obstacle among others that researchers face is the need to have a long duration of time in order to make accurate observations about this disease.
Black, H, 2007. Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Retrieved from:
Behavioral Research. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
Committee, 2009. Health Inequalities: Report, Together with Formal Minutes. Sydney: The Stationery Office.
Diane, S, 2004. Report of the Expert Panel on Population Strategies for Blood Cholesterol Reduction. Philadelphia: DIANE Publishing Company.
Wayne, W, 2006. Adjustment in the 21st Century. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Weiten, W, 2007. Psychology: Themes and Variations. Boston: Cengage Learning.