CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES 4
Cardiovasculardiseases describe a set of conditions that affect the human heart.Cardiovascular is used interchangeably with the term heart diseases.The conditions entail having narrowed or blocked blood vessels thatresult into a heart attack, stroke or chest pains (angina). Othercardiovascular conditions affect the heart`s muscles, the valves orthe rhythm and are considered as forms of heart disease. There arevarious conditions under the cardiovascular umbrella such as heartrhythm problems (arrhythmias) and blood vessel diseases (BritishHeart Foundation, n.d).
Theprimary cause of heart diseases is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosisresults from a gradual build-up of fatty materials (atheroma) in thearteries. The arteries become very narrow with time and are unable tosupply enough blood rich in oxygen to the heart. Heart disease isalso caused when a piece of an atheroma breaks away to form a bloodclot. The blood clot blocks the heart`s coronary artery anddiminishes the supply of blood rich in oxygen to the muscles of theheart. The lack of sufficient oxygen damages the muscles of the heartto cause a heart attack. Stroke is another kind of heart disease thatresults when a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to thebrain. In addition to the causes, factors such as smoking, high bloodpressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity,diabetes, ethnic backgrounds are risk factors for the development ofthe disease (British Heart Foundation, n.d).
Cardiovasculardiseases are a major health concern. First, they are the leadingcases of deaths in the world and the United States of America.Specifically, stroke is the primary cause of deaths in the U.S.A.both Stroke and heart disease is the most widespread and mostexpensive health issues facing the nation currently. Besides beingthe leading causes of deaths, heart diseases result to seriousillnesses and disabilities. Consequently, they lead to a decrease inthe quality of life (Mensar & Brown, 2015).
Theprevalence of Heart diseases has increased from the year 1990.Currently, statistics indicates that the population affected by thedisease stands at 17.5 million compared to 14.4 million in 1990. Ofthe total population, 7.6 million are affected by coronary heartdisease while 5.7 are infected with stroke. The diseases cause morethan eighty per cent of deaths in low-income families living inmiddle-income countries. The current projection of mortality ratesindicates that coronary diseases will be the primary cause of deathworldwide accounting for thirty percent of deaths. The projectionsindicate that cardiovascular diseases will continue to lead as aleading cause of global mortality (Mensar & Brown, 2015).
Cardiovasculardiseases are preventable. The process entails avoiding the variousrisk factors that contribute to the development of the disease. Firstpeople are advised to engage in physical activities. Physicalactivity reduces the chances of becoming obese that highly contributeto the blocking of the arteries. It also reduces the chances of highblood pressure and high cholesterol related to heart diseases. Otherbehavioral practices such as avoiding alcohol and smoking reduce thechances of heart disease. There are also dietary concerns such asreducing the intake of cholesterol and salt that are highly relatedto the conditions.
Inthe United States, statistics indicates that approximately one inevery three adults is affected by one or more types of cardiovasculardiseases. Specifically, about 71.3 million adults in the UnitedStates have cardiovascular diseases with hypertension as the mostprevalent condition. Consequently, the disease cost the country aminimum 273 billion United States dollars per year concerning medicalbills and lost productivity (Taylor, 2005).
Britishheart foundation (n.d). cardiovascular disease. Retrieved on 11thJanuary, 2016 from
Mensar,G. & Brown, W (2015). An overview of cardiovascular diseaseburden in the United States. Health affairs.Retrieved on 11thJanuary, 2016 fromhttp://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/1/38.long
NationalConference of State Legislatures, ( 2015).Heartdisease and stroke-an overview of our nation’s leading killers.Retrieved on 11thJanuary, 2016 fromhttp://www.ncsl.org/research/health/heart-disease-and-stroke-an-overview.aspx
Taylor,R. (2005). Taylor`scardiovascular diseases a handbook.New York, NY: Springer.