What are cardiovascular diseases?

Cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease) affects the heart by narrowing the arteries and reducing the amount of blood the heart receives, causing the heart to work harder. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in all racial and ethnic groups.

Cardiovascular disease often presents without pain and without obvious symptoms. For that reason, they are often left untreated. This can lead to even more serious health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage. What is especially dangerous about cardiovascular disease is that you can have more than one at a time without even knowing it.

What are some of the cardiovascular diseases?

High blood pressure or hypertension: This condition often begins without symptoms. It occurs when the pressure of the blood against the wall of the bloodlines is constantly higher than normal.

Hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis: The disease process that leads to hardening of the arteries that occurs with age. The arteries harden, becoming less flexible and making it harder for blood to pass through them.

Blockage of the arteries or atherosclerosis: The arteries become blocked when the inner layer that protects them is damaged and allows substances to accumulate inside the wall of the artery. This accumulation is made up of cholesterol, waste materials from cells, fats, and other substances.

Heart attack: A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks some or all of the blood supply that goes directly to the heart muscle. When the blood flow is completely shut off, the heart muscle begins to die.

Embolism: An embolism occurs when a blood vessel supplying the brain with blood becomes partially or completely blocked, which leads to the incapacitation of the brain due to reduced blood flow. The impairment to the brain, in turn, results in the loss of body movements controlled by that part of the brain.

Congestive heart failure: This condition occurs when the volume of blood that comes out with each heartbeat decreases due to abnormal function of the heart muscle or valve structures. The blood supply to the body's tissues is not sufficient to meet the appropriate oxygen demand that the tissues need for biological work.

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