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Cardiovascular Disease News and Research Information

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/01/19

Synopsis: Information on cardiovascular diseases defined as diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels of the human body.

Main Document

What are Cardiovascular Diseases?

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. Cardiovascular disease is currently 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.

The best changes to make for preventing heart disease are:

Symptoms of Heart Attack and Stroke

Fig. 1 - Labeled diagram showing veins and arteries of the human circulatory system.
Fig. 1 - Labeled diagram showing veins and arteries of the human circulatory system.

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:

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.


Related Topics and Academic References

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Cite:
Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Disabled World. Last Revised Publication Date: 2019/01/19. Reference Title: "Cardiovascular Disease News and Research Information", Source: Cardiovascular. Abstract: Information on cardiovascular diseases defined as diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels of the human body. Retrieved 2019-11-12, from https://www.disabled-world.com/health/cardiovascular/ - Reference Category Number: DW#188-17.172.98-5c.
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