Cardiovascular disease

From ArticleWorld

As the leading cause of death and disability in most Western countries, cardiovascular disease is a force to be reckoned with. In America alone, over 50 million people have been diagnosed with cardiovascular problems.

There are two types of the disease:

  • Coronary heart disease: Fatty deposits impede the delivery of blood to the heart by the coronary vessels. This is in itself a problem but becomes critical when one of the deposits ruptures, forming a blood clot.

In the same way, the cerebral arteries, or those supplying the brain, may also become blocked, causing mini-strokes or, if the obstruction is large, a stroke.

  • Peripheral artery disease: This refers to blockages in the arteries of the arms and legs. Gangrene is the end result of this affliction if early symptoms are not treated.

Risk factors

The risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle and genetics can all play a major role in determining who suffers. Men have a higher pre-disposition than women but only until women go through menopause, when the risk factors are more equal.

Prevention and Treatment

Most of the risk factors mentioned above can be controlled with the exception of age, sex and family history. Following a balanced diet, exercising regularly and abstaining from smoking lower the risks dramatically. Medications such as aspirin and those that lower blood pressure may be prescribed and surgery necessary when blood vessels need to be repaired or replaced.