What is Cardiovascular Disease?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
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Cardiovascular disease is a general term encompassing meanings for various ailments of the heart and the blood vessels surrounding the heart. The terms cardiovascular disease and heart disease are used interchangeably by many people and both are acceptable forms. It can be quite serious and often require serious medical attention from a trained specialist.

Most types of cardiovascular disease deal with the hardening and clotting of arteries. This can lead to heart attacks and strokes in their most serious form. Both conditions are capable of resulting in death. While improvements have been made in cardiovascular disease treatment over the last 50 years in particular, the disease is still considered very dangerous.

In fact, cardiovascular disease accounts for the most deaths throughout the world. In the United States alone, it accounts for 40 percent of all deaths. Thus, even with improvements, the situation can still be bad for those afflicted with heart conditions. Also, despite the efforts made to find more effective treatments over the years, death rates from the disease have not been substantially impacted.


When most people think of cardiovascular disease, clogged arteries come to mind. Cholesterol gets caught along the artery walls and begins to build up over time. Eventually, it can cut the blood flow off to the heart significantly enough that it causes a heart attack. In these cases, immediate treatment should be sought. While it is possible to survive a heart attack without treatment, survival rates are much greater when treatment is immediately sought.

To help prevent certain types of cardiovascular disease, such as problems related to cholesterol, certain medications can be given. These medications help to lower the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can prevent future heart attacks. This type of preventative treatment is a good reason to have a blood test known as a lipid profile done, which can help diagnose high cholesterol, which leads to cardiovascular disease. In some cases, for those who do not have insurance coverage to pay for the profile, community organizations may run drives for lipid profile screenings at a relatively reasonable rate, such as no more than $20 US Dollars.

Preventing heart disease without medication can be done through maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Having a diet that is low in cholesterol and high in fiber and other vitamins can help. Further, getting a proper amount of exercise can strengthen the heart as well. Most heart specialists recommend both for maximum effectiveness.



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