Cardiovascular Diseases, The World’s Biggest Killer

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart. Cardiovascular diseases include:

Coronary Heart Disease – CAD is atherosclerosis (condition that causes most heart attacks and strokes), or hardening of the arteries that provide vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart. When one or more coronary arteries narrow, it may make it difficult for adequate blood to reach the heart, especially during exercise or heavy workout and leads heart muscle to ache like any other muscle in the body.

Cerebrovascular Disease – A vascular disease of the cerebral circulation. Arteries supplying oxygen to the brain are affected resulting in one of a number of cerebrovascular diseases. When this happens, the flow of blood is restricted and its consequences can be grave and include heart attack and stroke.

See, Causes of Cardiac Arrest

Cardiovascular Diseases, The World's Biggest Killer
Cardiovascular Diseases, The World’s Biggest Killer (Peripheral Arterial Disease)

Peripheral Arterial Disease – Peripheral arterial disease, also known as peripheral vascular disease, occurs when there’s a blockage (due to build-up of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the arms and legs.) in the arteries to your limbs (usually your legs).

Rheumatic Heart Disease – Damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria.

Congenital Heart Disease – Congenital heart disease is a type of malformations in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that existing at birth or occurs before birth, affecting about 8 out of every 1,000 children.

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – Blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

Risk factors of Cardiovascular Diseases:

There are risk factors that increase the potential to develop plaque within coronary arteries and cause them to narrow. There are several risk factors for CVD, including:

  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • A family history of heart disease
  • Overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Ethnic background

See, List of Major Medicines & Drugs that Cause Cardiac Arrest

The amount of alcohol you drink, how you deal with stress, and type of job you’re doing are also thought to be linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular Disease Treatment Summary

Cardiovascular Diseases, The World's Biggest Killer
Cardiovascular Diseases, The World’s Biggest Killer
Heart AttackMedications — Clotbusters (should be administered as soon as possible for certain types of heart attacks), Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery, Coronary Angioplasty
Heart Valve ProblemsMedications, and Heart Valve Surgery
StrokeMedications — Clotbusters (must be administered within 3 hours from onset of stroke symptoms for certain types of strokes), Carotid Endarterectomy
ArrhythmiaMedications, Pacemaker

Cardiovascular Diseases, The World’s Biggest Killer

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S or the number 1 cause of death globally. More people (both men and women) die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the World’s biggest killer. In 2011, there were almost 160,000 deaths in UK as a result of CVD. Around 74,000 of these deaths were caused by coronary heart disease.

Related Article: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) & AEDs: A Real Lifesaver Treatment

Most deaths from heart disease are caused by heart attacks. In the UK, there are about 103,000 heart attacks each year. There are also more than 152,000 strokes in the UK each year, resulting in more than 41,000 deaths.

An estimated 17.5 million people died from CVDs in 2012, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke.

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