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What is Cardiovascular Disease or Heart Disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVDs) or also called heart disease is a class of diseases that implicate the heart or blood vessels in human body. These disease include:

  • Coronary heart disease (heart attack): A condition that occurs due to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart
  • Cerebrovascular disease (stroke): A condition that occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted
  • Congenital heart disease: Disease of abnormal heart structure existing at birth
  • Peripheral arterial disease: Disease of blood vessels that supply the arms and legs
  • Rheumatic heart disease: Disease of damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
  • Deep-vein thrombosis and Pulmonary embolism: Disease of blood clots in leg veins, which may expelled and moved to the heart and lungs

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. According to WHO, an estimated 17.1 million people died from Cardiovascular diseases in 2004, representing 29% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.2 million was due to heart attack and 5.7 million due to stroke.

Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood flow to the brain or heart. The most common reason for this is the cumulation of fatty stored on the inner walls of blood vessels supplying the brain or heart. Stroke can also be caused by blood clot or bleeding from blood vessels in the brain.

Unlike many other chronic disease, cardiovascular disease is preventable and curable, even after a long history of disease. Treatment focuses on diet and lifestyle modifications can protecting yourself from this deadly disease.

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