Heart disease can potentially be because of changes due to aging. The reason for this is the blood vessels change.
The heart is comprised of two chambers; the right and left ventricles. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs so that it gets oxygen and rids it of carbon dioxide. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body.
The composition goes something like this, according to the website http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004006.htm: Blood flows out of the heart through arteries, which branch out and get smaller and smaller as they go into the tissues. In the tissues, they become tiny capillaries.
Capillaries are where the blood gives up oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and receives carbon dioxide and wastes back from the tissues. Then, the vessels begin to collect together into larger and larger veins, which return blood to the heart.
The human heart has a natural pacemaker system. This is what controls our heartbeat. There are some problems that may develop as we age. Take for instance the fact that some of the pathways to the heart may develop fibrous tissue and fat deposits over time. Because of this, the natural pacemaker, also referred to as the SA node, can lose some of its cells. When this change occurs, the heart rate may become slightly slower.
Tomorrow we will see what other aging changes can affect the heart. When we learn this as caregivers, we can better show that With Age Comes Respect and present the best care possible for our clients with heart disease.