Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases involve the whole cardiovascular system which includes the heart, circulation system (arteries, veins), and pulmonary circulation systems (arteries & veins of lungs). The term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system including the peripheral arteries in addition to the heart and blood vessels. It often refers to atherosclerosis and hypertension. Cholesterol levels are an important factor. Blood pressure concerns are valid but can be somewhat arbitrary as there is no “normal” for the entire population, there is a “range.” Circulatory issues may cause people to experience a range of ill feeling symptoms including dizziness and headaches. Coronary Artery Disease is when the artery narrows and blood cannot be transported to the myocardium. This can develop into heart failure. Artery disease is also an indicator of possible stroke, thrombosis or myocardial infarctions.  Essentially many people are not aware of their risk until they collapse in acute pain and distress.

Of course heredity is a factor but again so is lifestyle. Men outnumber women in cardiovascular disease cases. People who are sedentary, obese or smokers are at a higher risk.  Here is the concern about those with hypertension and high cholesterol associated with excessive animal consumption. Most developing countries are facing increasing rates of cardiovascular disease. In the US heart disease kills more people than cancer. In recent years, cardiovascular risk in women has also been increasing and is actually the leading cause of death worldwide. Research shows vascular injuries begin to accumulate during adolescence so this makes prevention efforts necessary from childhood. Usually by the time heart problems are detected, the underlying cause of arteriosclerosis is quite advanced, having compounded for decades. Consequently there is increased emphasis on prevention by modifying the typical risk factors of the unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and smoking.

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