Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. It's usually associated with a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) and an increased risk of blood clots.
What causes cardiovascular disease?
A buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries (atherosclerosis) is the most common cause of coronary artery disease. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking, can lead to atherosclerosis.
There are 7 types of cardiovascular disease?
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): CAD is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart (called coronary arteries) and other parts of the body.
Heart Arrhythmias: A heart arrhythmia (uh-RITH-me-uh) is an irregular heartbeat. Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical signals that coordinate the heart's beats don't work properly. The faulty signaling causes the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or irregularly.
Heart Failure: Heart failure occurs when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Blood often backs up and causes fluid to build up in the lungs (congest) and in the legs. The fluid buildup can cause shortness of breath and swelling of the legs and feet. Poor blood flow may cause the skin to appear blue (cyanotic).
Heart Valve Disease: In heart valve disease, one or more of the valves in your heart doesn't work properly. Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. In some cases, one or more of the valves don't open or close properly. This can cause the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted.
Pericardial Disease: Pericardial disease, or pericarditis, is inflammation of any of the layers of the pericardium. The pericardium is a thin tissue sac that surrounds the heart and consists of: Visceral pericardium -- an inner layer that envelopes the entire heart.
Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease): An acquired or hereditary disease of heart muscle, this condition makes it hard for the heart to deliver blood to the body, and can lead to heart failure.
Congenital Heart Disease: Congenital heart disease is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal way the heart works. The term "congenital" means the condition is present from birth.
Is cardiovascular disease curable?
Coronary heart disease cannot be cured but treatment can help manage the symptoms and reduce the chances of problems such as heart attacks. Treatment can include: lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and stopping smoking.