Atherosclerosis is both a type of cardiovascular disease and a cause of other diseases affecting the heart. High blood pressure, diabetes, and syphilis are also medical problems that can be causes of cardiovascular disease. Other factors that can result in such a condition include poor lifestyles choices, such as having an unhealthy diet and smoking. For some people, however, these conditions are congenital, meaning the individuals are born with the problems.
To begin with, it is important to understand that cardiovascular disease, commonly referred to as heart disease, is a very broad term. Using that term basically just means that there is a problem with the heart or the blood vessels. This means that the possible causes of cardiovascular disease can vary depending on the type of problem a person is experiencing.
For example, one of the common types of heart disease is atherosclerosis. This is a condition where fatty buildup, known as plaque, collects along the wall of the arteries. When this happens, the passageway becomes narrow and the flow of blood to the heart is reduced or, in some cases, completely blocked. Atherosclerosis can be caused by a number of poor lifestyle choices, including lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. Being overweight and smoking are also considered causes.
Coronary heart disease is a condition that develops when platelets clump together inside of arteries in areas where there has been some type of damage. That damage, which is believed to be the initiator of the disease, can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Another of the causes of cardiovascular disease of this sort is smoking.
A valvular condition refers to a disease that affects the functioning of the heart's valves. There are several other conditions that can be the cause of cardiovascular disease of this nature, such as rheumatic fever, syphilis, and connective tissue disorders. The problem can result from certain medications, from tumors, or from stiffening of the valves. In some cases, individuals are born with valvular heart diseases.
Angina is a disease where a person suffers from temporary shortages of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This condition has numerous forms of its own, and the causes tend to vary based on which one a person is suffering from. For example, stable angina can be caused by atherosclerosis. Unstable angina is often the result of an artery that is blocked by a blood clot.