Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally. Cardiovascular disease caused by disorders of the blood vessels and heart.

Updated: August 17, 2020

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally. Cardiovascular disease caused by disorders of the blood vessels and heart. The cardiovascular system is also known as the circulatory system, moves blood throughout the human body. It is composed of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries. CVD is associated with an increased risk of blood clots or a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries known as atherosclerosis. It can also be associated with damage to arteries in organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.

Cardiovascular diseases which involve the blood vessels are


Coronary artery disease:

This is also known as coronary heart disease and ischemic heart disease. This includes angina and myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack).
The feeling of chest pain, pressure, or squeezing is known as angina. This happens due to not enough blood flow to the heart muscle as a result of obstruction or spasm of the coronary arteries. Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow is severely reduced or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle.

Peripheral artery disease :

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs.


Cerebrovascular disease :

This is a disease of blood vessels that supply blood to the brain which includes stroke.


Renal artery stenosis:

Renal artery stenosis is the narrowing of one of the renal arteries which prevents blood flow to the kidney.


Aortic aneurysm:

An aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the aorta to greater than 1.5 times normal size. They usually cause no symptoms except when ruptured due to enlargement. The aortic rupture results in massive internal bleeding and can lead to shock and death unless treated immediately.


Cardiovascular diseases which involve the heart are 


Cardiomyopathy :

Cardiomyopathy is a group of diseases that affect the heart muscle. Some people may have shortness of breath, feel tired, or have swelling of the legs. An irregular heartbeat may occur which may cause an increased risk of sudden cardiac death.


Hypertensive heart disease :

Hypertensive heart disease includes a number of complications of high blood pressure that affect the heart.


Heart failure:

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body's requirement.


Pulmonary heart disease:

Because of increased vascular resistance or high blood pressure in the lungs, the enlargement and failure of the right ventricle of the heart is known as Pulmonary heart disease.


Heart arrhythmia:

Heart arrhythmia is a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow.


Inflammatory heart disease :

The inflammation is either in the inner layer of the heart, the endocardium known as Endocarditis, or in the muscular part of the heart(myocardium) known as Myocarditis. Also, there may be Inflammatory cardiomegaly.


Valvular heart disease:

The damage of one or more of the four valves of the heart is known as valvular heart disease.


Congenital heart disease :

In this disease heart structure, malformations exist at birth.


Rheumatic fever:

Rheumatic fever (RF) is an inflammatory disease that can involve the heart, joints, skin, and brain.  Heart muscles and valves damage due to rheumatic fever caused by streptococcal infection. Damage to the heart valves is known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD). This usually occurs after repeated attacks but can sometimes occur after one attack. The damaged valves may result in heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and infection of the valves.

The underlying mechanisms vary depending on the type of disease. Coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease involve atherosclerosis. This may be caused by high blood pressure, lack of exercise, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol, unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. Rheumatic heart disease develops due to untreated strep throat.

Prevention of atherosclerosis is possible by working on risk factors through healthy eating, regular exercising, avoidance of tobacco smoke, and limiting alcohol intake. Treating risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes will be helpful. Treating strep throat with antibiotics can decrease the risk of rheumatic heart disease. 


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