Cardiovascular disease or CVD is a general terminology that covers the diseases involving the heart and the blood vessels. These conditions are primarily caused by either formation of blood clot secondary to trauma, hardening, or narrowing of the blood vessels, due to aging or build-up of fatty deposits, which impair blood blow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
Approximately 610,000 people die because of heart disease in the United States every year, which is one in every four deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The publication added that heart disease stands as the lead cause of death for both men and women and more than 50 percent of the morality cases related to heart disease in 2009 were in males. Among the cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease, also called CHD, is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 370,000 every year. In fact, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year and 525,000 is a first heart attack, from the numbers. The remaining 210,000 cases happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
Diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, and medications are accessible for the management of cardiovascular diseases, according to the American Heart Association. A health care provider can diagnose a heart attack through obtaining the person’s medical history, a physical examination, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to check the heart’s electrical activity, and blood testing to check abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the blood stream. Some of the surgical procedures done in cardiovascular disease management include angioplasty, stent procedures, heart valve surgery, bypass surgery, and heart transplant, among others.
According to NHS, the risk factors for having cardiovascular disease take in a family history of heart disease, ethnic background, smoking, lack of exercise, high blood cholesterol levels, being overweight or obese, hypertension or high blood pressure, and diabetes, among others. While various tests and surgical procedures can help in the curative and rehabilitative aspect of the disease, heart diseases can also be prevented through a lifestyle change.
According to Mayo Clinic, blood pressure management is one key to prevent having heart diseases. The publication said that blood pressure measurement should be done at least every two years. A physician may suggest more frequent blood pressure measurements if the blood pressure is higher than normal or if the person has a history of a heart disease. The optimal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), according to the publication.
Improving the diet is an important element in preventing heart disease. According to Help Guide, incorporating a variety of foods in the diet should be the goal and should be made as habits in one’s new lifestyle. The publication noted that a person should eat heathy fat food sources like flax seeds, fish oils, olive oil, raw nuts, and avocados, among others; fiber, which is present in breads, cereals, and pasta, among others; protein and calcium, which are found in meat, poultry, fish, egg whites, low-fat or nonfat cheese, skim milk, or unsweetened yogurt, among others; and vitamins and minerals, which can be obtained from colorful fruits and vegetables. Unhealthy food choices from deep-fried foods, packaged foods, white or egg bread, and whole milk, among others, should be consumed in limited amounts.
Exercise is also one of the steps to be taken to lower heart disease chances. According to Fitness, exercise can effectively help prevent the onset of both heart disease and cancer through stabilizing the body’s insulin and leptin levels. Previous research has also found out that exercise alone can decrease the risk of having a cardiovascular disease by a factor of three; however, exercises that train endurance, such as marathon, can in fact damage the heart and escalate cardiovascular risks by a factor of seven.