Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. Common CVDs include: ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease (RHD), aortic aneurysms, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, congenital heart disease, endocarditis, and peripheral artery disease (PAD), among others.
What are Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular diseases refers to the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins).
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and disability in the United States and most European countries.
A definition of cardiovascular disease doesn't include an age.
In fact, early signs of cardiovascular disease have been noted during surgeries performed on young soldiers wounded in battle. It has been estimated that plaque build-up was seen in the arteries of nearly 90% of the troops wounded in Vietnam. That's pretty amazing when one considers that these soldiers were in their teens and early twenties. So, we need to take a good look at exactly what cardiovascular disease is, what causes it, and how we can prevent it.
The term 'cardiovascular disease' is used to cover a group of problems related to the heart or the body's overall circulatory system. These problems include heart attacks, strokes, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, ischemia, hypertension, angina, and other dysfunctions. For the sake of brevity, this article will focus on heart disease and its prevention. The reason for concentrating on heart disease is simple. Someone in the United States dies every minute from a heart attack.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one health problem in Western society.
It is the leading cause of death for over one million people each year in the United States. It is estimated that over 50 million Americans currently have cardiovascular disease although many will not know it because they have no symptoms yet. In fact, 25% of the people who have heart attacks had no symptoms prior to the incident.
Following cigarette smoking, the major factor that contributes to heart disease is one's diet. There are several dietary changes that can help prevent the onset of heart disease.
Make sure that you get enough essential fatty acids, particularly omega 3.
Eating fish provides the availability of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, a low fat-to-protein ratio, and a high mineral content, particularly in ocean fish. The beneficial fats may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
A high fiber content in your diet is helpful.
Eating lots of raw foods such as salads, fruits, and vegetables supplies an adequate level of fiber. Cooking tends to break down the fiber of most foods.
Low sodium diets are beneficial in preventing heart disease.
Eliminate foods that are high in salt content. Some foods and additives to avoid include foods with preservatives or mold inhibitors, canned vegetables, diet soft drinks, meat tenderizers, commercially prepared foods, MSG, Saccharin, and baking soda.
Studies have shown that there are several nutritional supplements that can be helpful in heart disease prevention.
As in the case of the herbs, each of these supplements has its own properties and each one can have severe side effects if taken inappropriately. The heart-helping supplements are coenzyme Q10, calcium, magnesium, L-carnitine, lecithin, potassium, selenium, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, copper, multi-enzyme complex, bromelain, vitamin B complex, vitamin C.
Perhaps the biggest risk factor of all in heart disease is lifestyle.
That means that heart attacks and heart disease are very preventable. It just takes a little work, like everything worthwhile in life does. The key lifestyle changes that will help keep your heart healthy are things that we all know to do. It's interesting to see that a lot of these risk factors work off of each other. For example, losing weight will usually lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
The best changes to make for preventing heart disease are:
One last bit of information that I thought might be helpful is a list of terms that you might hear in the discussion of heart disease. It's always better to know what your doctor is describing and the definitions below can help you with that.
Common Heart Disease Terms
By the time that heart problems are detected, the underlying cause (atherosclerosis) is usually quite advanced, having progressed for decades. There is therefore increased emphasis on preventing atherosclerosis by modifying risk factors, such as healthy eating, exercise and avoidance of smoking.
The color red ribbon is symbol of heart disease awareness, and February is American Heart Month dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease.
Often, there are no symptoms of the underlying disease of the blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of underlying disease.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
Common symptoms of a stroke
Other symptoms include sudden onset of:
Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease include:
Symptoms of rheumatic fever include:
Full List of Cardiovascular Health Documents (57 Items)