Everything you wanted to know about Cardiovascular Diseases

The cardiovascular system is a piece of engineering marvel. The heart beats non-stop for an entire lifetime with a steady rhythm of 60 to 100 times per minute and about 100,000 times in a day. If a disease affects the functioning of the structure of the heart in any way, it is called Cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Disease is one of the most common causes of death in India.

These are the types –

  • Arrhythmias – Abnormal heartbeat
  • Aorta disease and Coronary heart disease – Hardened and injured arteries.
  • Congenital heart disease – Defects in the heart before birth.
  • Deep vein thrombosis – Blood clots in the veins.
  • Heart attack – Flow of blood to the heart is blocked due to cholesterol, fat build-up.
  • Heart failure – Inability of the heart to pump strongly enough.
  • Cardiomyopathy – Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve disease – Malfunctioning heart valves.
  • Pericardial disease – Inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart.
  • Peripheral vascular disease – Disease of the arteries reducing blood flow to the limbs.
  • Rheumatic heart disease – Disease of the heart caused by rheumatic fever.
  • Vascular disease – Diseases of the blood vessels that slow down blood flow to the brain.

The risk factors –

  • Age damages and narrows down arteries and thickens and weakens the heart muscles.
  • Men are at a higher risk than women. The women become more susceptible after menopause.
  • A family history increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Nicotine in cigarettes tightens blood vessels, and carbon monoxide damages the inner lining.
  • High fat, salt sugar, and cholesterol diet contribute to heart disease.
  • Unmanaged high blood pressure hardens and thickens arteries eventually restricting the flow of blood through them.
  • Cholesterol forms plaque in the arteries and blocks them.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Irregular exercising.
  • Stress.
  • Sedentary lifestyle

The signs for heart disease differ for each cardiovascular condition but some of the common symptoms are –

  • Pain and tightness in the chest.
  • Breathlessness.
  • Numbness and weakness in the limbs.
  • Pain and tightness in the jaw, upper abdomen, and back

Treatment includes –

  • Lifestyle management – Exercising, quitting smoking, having the right diet.
  • Medications – To treat high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clots and other risk factors.
  • A medical procedure or surgery – Stent, heart valve surgery and coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Cardiac Rehab – Cardiovascular disease has multiple physical and emotional implications that limit the social life of patients. They need a customized program that helps them not only to recover from heart disease or surgery but to cope with the condition. Rehab is a comprehensive program that has a multidisciplinary team of doctors, therapists, nurses and bedside caregivers to help heart patients restore their quality of life.

FAQs

What are the 4 most common cardiovascular diseases?

The 4 most common cardiovascular diseases are-

  • Heart attack tops the list. This condition occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked.
  • Stroke is considered a common heart condition as it involves blood flow.
  • Heart failure – When the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the organs as is required.
  • Arrhythmias -When the heart has irregular heartbeats.

What are the top 10 cardiovascular diseases?

The top 10 cardiovascular diseases are –

  • Heart attack – Flow of blood to the heart is blocked due to cholesterol, fat build-up.
  • Stroke – Flow of blood to the brain is cut-off.
  • Heart failure – Inability of the heart to pump strongly enough.
  • Arrhythmias – Abnormal heartbeat
  • Aorta disease and Coronary heart disease – Hardened and injured arteries.
  • Congenital heart disease – Defects in the heart before birth.
  • Deep vein thrombosis – Blood clots in the veins.
  • Cardiomyopathy – Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve disease – Malfunctioning heart valves.
  • Pericardial disease – Inflammation of the lining surrounding the heart.
  • Peripheral vascular disease – Disease of the arteries reducing blood flow to the limbs.

Is hypertension a cardiovascular disorder?

No. But according to NCBI, High blood pressure (BP) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading cause of mortality. Approximately 54% of strokes and 47% of coronary heart diseases, worldwide, are attributable to high BP.