It is the number one among diseases that snuffs out lives in America and Europe. Nearly 30% of all deaths in America are cardiovascular related. These are the cold, chilling facts that stare at us as we find out more about this set of diseases.
The name cardiovascular is revealing of the parts of the human body it affects, namely, cardio - diseases of the heart, and vascular - diseases of the blood vessels. The heart is a muscle that pumps blood while the arteries supply blood to the heart muscle, and valves ensure that the blood within the heart is pumped in the correct direction.
Broadly speaking, cardiovascular diseases can be classified into two based on their origins: congenital, if one is born with some type of cardiovascular disease, or acquired if a lifetime of unhealthy habits such as smoking, lack of exercises and proper diet. Everything from aneurysms to heart attacks to varicose veins is a type of cardiovascular disease.
Common diseases of the heart include coronary artery disease, heart failure, and valvular heart disease, while diseases of the blood vessels are: high blood pressure, stroke, lymphedema, and vasculitis.
Cardiovascular disease is a specialized area of treatment in modern medicinal practice. Cardiovascular disease is treated by a variety of specialists such as cardiologists, thoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, neurologists, and interventional radiologists, depending on the organ system being treated.
Being a killer disease, there is much written about this category of diseases in the media. Hospitals and government agencies are disseminating information to tackle this disease. Innumerable programs related to health feature the nature of this disease along with the emphasis on following a balanced diet and a regular exercise regime. High risk groups such as smokers are being urged to kick the bad habit to keep this disease at bay. Most informative presentations focus on preventing the occurrence of heart attacks. First aid to be given to patients in times of a heart attack are vital to saving lives. The media and hospitals are engaged in ensuring this vital information trickle down to the general public as it could be the matter of life and death to many a patient in times of an attack or a stroke.