When you think of cardiovascular diseases, what likely comes to mind is a heart attack. But there are other conditions that can lead to heart problems, too—and they’re just as serious. In fact, they can be life-threatening. In this blog post, we will explore the five most common cardiovascular diseases and what they mean for you. We will also provide tips on how to prevent them and treat them when they occur.
What is cardiovascular disease (CVD)?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a category of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. CVDs can be fatal if not treated, so it’s important to know what they are and what they mean to you.
There are many different types of CVDs, but the most common ones include:
Atherosclerosis: This is when the arteries become fatty and narrow over time, causing a decrease in blood flow. Atherosclerosis is the biggest cause of death from CVD.
Peripheral vascular disease: This occurs when small circulation branches in peripheral veins become damaged or blocked, leading to lower levels of blood flow to the extremities. It’s one of the main causes of leg pain and numbness.
Heart attack: When there is an obstruction (clot) in an artery caused by atherosclerosis or other particles, blood pressure skyrockets and can lead to a heart attack. Symptoms may include chest pain, sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath.
The five most common CVDs in the United States
The five most common cardiovascular diseases in the United States are heart disease, stroke, coronary artery disease, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States, accounting for more than six million deaths each year. The other four diseases are all major contributors to death and disability.
Heart disease is caused by a combination of factors including genetics, age, obesity, smoking, and cholesterol levels. Stroke is the most common cause of serious neurological damage and death in adults. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death from cardiovascular disease in men and women over 65 years of age. Hypertension affects nearly one-third of adults and is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. Atherosclerosis is a gradual process that can lead to the narrowing or blockage of arteries due to the build-up of plaque.
The causes of CVD
The most common cardiovascular diseases are atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, stroke, andrial hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque in the arteries. This can cause blockages that reduce blood flow to the heart or other parts of the body. Coronary heart disease occurs when the fatty deposits on the inner walls of the arteries become thick and hard. This can cause severe narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. A stroke is a sudden loss of blood flow to part of your brain due to a blockage in an artery. Peripheral vascular disease is a condition that affects veins and arteries outside of the brain and spine. This can lead to leg pain, DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and even gangrene.
What are the symptoms of CVD?
The most common cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are atherosclerosis, a narrowing of the arteries due to the buildup of cholesterol and other fatty materials; heart failure, when the heart can no longer pump enough blood; and stroke when the arteries to the brain are narrowed or destroyed.
There are many symptoms of CVD, but some of the most common include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, numbness or tingling in the legs or arms, trouble sleeping, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation.
How can you prevent CVD?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and it’s the No. 1 killer of women. The good news is: You can prevent heart disease by following these simple tips.
Get your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
Make sure you get enough exercise. Exercise has been shown to protect against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. A healthy lifestyle also includes eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.
If you have a family history of heart disease or any type of cancer, be sure to see your doctor for regular screenings. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment!
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and they disproportionately affect people from low- and middle-income countries. If you’re concerned about your own cardiovascular health or that of a loved one, it’s important to understand the most common cardiovascular diseases and their potential implications for you. In this article, we discuss heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and diabetes, and provide tips on how to reduce your risk of developing these conditions. Armed with this information, you can take steps to safeguard your health and improve your quality of life.