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Cardiovascular Disease: Symptoms And Treatments

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among the working-age population. Individuals with symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD) and arterial hypertension (AH) form the highest risk group for complications and death from CVD.

What is cardiovascular disease?

The term ” cardiovascular disease ” encompasses a spectrum of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, heart rhythm disease (arrhythmia), and heart defects. Coronary artery disease, a disease of the coronary artery, is the most common type of cardiovascular disease.

The development of coronary heart disease occurs slowly over a long time, as atherosclerosis develops. The coronary arteries that feed the heart muscle can become narrow and hard due to the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques, a combination of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Due to the narrowing of the coronary arteries, blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop, which is accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attack, and other symptoms.

Cardiovascular disease is a group of diseases of the heart and blood vessels that include:

  • coronary heart disease – a disease of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle;
  • cerebrovascular disease – a disease of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain;
  • peripheral arterial disease – a disease of the blood vessels that supply blood to the arms and legs;
  • rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves as a result of a rheumatic attack caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • congenital heart disease – deformations of the structure of the heart that have existed since birth;
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – the formation of blood clots in the leg veins that can displace and travel to the heart and lungs.

Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute illnesses and occur mainly as a result of blockages in the blood vessels that prevent blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is the formation of fatty deposits on the inner walls of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart or brain. Bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or blood clots can also cause a stroke. Myocardial infarction and stroke are usually caused by a combination of risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia.

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

Numerous factors play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease:

  • high blood cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors associated with obesity and overweight)
  • Hypodynamia
  • Age
  • Family history of early heart disease.

Other factors that can also contribute to cardiovascular disease include stress, alcohol, and sleep apnea.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death. Lifestyle changes (healthy diet, weight loss, stress reduction, smoking cessation, and increased physical activity help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease).

An individual’s exposure to behavioral risk factors can manifest as high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high blood lipids, and overweight and obesity. These “intermediate risk factors” can be assessed in primary care settings and may indicate an increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, and other complications.

Quitting tobacco use, reducing salt intake, consuming fruits and vegetables, regular physical activity, and avoiding the harmful use of alcohol have been shown to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, drug therapy may be needed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and prevent heart attack and stroke in diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated lipid levels. In order to increase people’s motivation to choose and maintain healthy behaviors, health policies are needed to create an enabling environment for healthy choices and their affordability.

For people to choose and maintain healthy behaviors, policies are needed to create an environment conducive to ensuring healthy choices are accessible and affordable.

There are also a number of factors that influence the development of chronic diseases, or underlying causes. They reflect the main driving forces leading to social, economic and cultural change – globalization, urbanization and population aging. Other determinants for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are poverty, stress and hereditary factors.

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Cardiovascular Disease Symptoms

There are many signs indicating disorders in the work of the heart and blood vessels. The following should serve as a signal for making an appointment with a cardiologist:

  • pain in the region of the heart, which can be burning, dull or pulling, extending to the neck, back, arm and head;
  • shortness of breath, rapid heart rate (over 100 beats per minute) or vice versa, slow heartbeat (less than 55 beats per minute);
  • a sharp increase in blood pressure;
  • low blood pressure;
  • deterioration in exercise tolerance, decreased performance;
  • swelling, most often localized in the legs;
  • pale skin, skin with a bluish tint;
  • dizziness, severe headache, general malaise;
  • loss of consciousness.

Cardiovascular disease may be indicated by symptoms that few patients associate with heart disease. For example, gradual memory loss, frequent drowsiness, chronic fatigue syndrome, a persistent cough, or occasional coughing for no apparent reason may also indicate that it is time for you to make an appointment with a cardiologist.

Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

The main factors that lead to heart disease are:

  • sedentary lifestyle, hypodynamia;
  • degradation of the ecological background;
  • bad habits, including smoking and drinking alcohol;
  • malnutrition;
  • overweight, obesity;
  • frequent depression and stress;
  • genetic predisposition.

Excessive coffee addiction, indigestion, constipation, and even the flu virus, which can migrate through the bloodstream and affect heart valves, negatively affects the cardiovascular system.

Remember, regular preventive examinations by a cardiologist will help you stay healthy!

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Diagnostics of Cardiovascular Disease

Identification of disorders in the work of the heart and blood vessels is carried out using modern equipment, which is produced according to the results of the latest discoveries in the world of medicine. All diagnostic methods used for cardiovascular disease are informative, highly accurate and fast. Among them:

  • ECG, ECHO ECG, Holter ECG monitoring;
  • daily monitoring of blood pressure;
  • chest x-ray;
  • blood and urine tests: general blood and urine analysis, biochemical blood test, coagulogram, detailed lipid profile;
  • duplex scanning of blood vessels;
  • ultrasound;
  • MRI.

Cardiovascular Disease Treatment

Cardiovascular Disease Treatment

Mortality due to cardiovascular disease occupies a leading place in the world. This is due to the wrong lifestyle, low physical activity and being overweight.

Heart disease is often diagnosed in very young people, especially in countries with a low standard of living and social development.

The main types of cardiovascular diseases:

  • heart attacks, strokes;
  • Cardiac ischemia;
  • angina;
  • Arterial hypertension;
  • Arrhythmia.

The most common heart diseases are heart attacks, arrhythmia and angina pectoris.

With angina pectoris, when moving, severe pain and a lack of oxygen manifests. Arrhythmia is an uneven heartbeat. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) is a type of coronary disease which characterized by a lack of nutrition of the heart muscle.

Arterial hypertension is also dangerous for the cardiovascular system – with regular elevated pressure, the walls of the vessels change and narrow. The result can be a stroke – blockage of cerebral vessels due to their obstruction. But even if there is no stroke, chronic forms of circulatory disorders affect the vessels and lead to the patient’s disability.

Also, hypertension is dangerous for the heart. At high pressure, the walls of the heart thicken due to constant stress, although blood flow remains unchanged, thereby increasing the likelihood of a heart attack.

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Treatment of heart disease

In addition to drug therapy, cardiologists and vascular surgeons recommend to their patients:

  • Follow the daily routine. You need a good rest, you should avoid stress and excessive physical exertion. Regular lack of sleep leads to nervous exhaustion of the body and increases the risk of developing heart and vascular disease.
  • Stick to a diet, give up spicy and salty foods, foods containing cholesterol, flour, fried foods.
  • Give up bad habits (smoking and alcohol).
  • motor activity;
  • Even after a heart attack, patients recommend to walk, exercise therapy, so that the heart receives the necessary load.

Drugs used to treat Cardiovascular Disease:

  • Nitroglycerine;
  • Diuretics;
  • Means that prevent thrombosis;
  • ACE inhibitors.

If medical treatment is not enough, surgical intervention is performed:

  • Shunting (creating a channel for blood flow);
  • Stenting (expansion of blood vessels through a tube);
  • Valve prosthetics;
  • Angioplasty (increased vascular patency);
  • Heart transplant.

Surgical interventions are extreme measures in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and, in advanced cases, they do not always have a positive effect. Chronic forms of diseases are difficult to treat.

To reduce patients with heart pathologies, preventive work is needed, informing people about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity.

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