Cardiovascular Disease(Part 1)


Cardiovascular disease also known as Heart and Blood vessel disease describes a range of conditions that affect a person's heart.It generally refers to condition called Atherosclerosis.It refers to a condition that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels caused when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries making it harder for blood to flow through.

In this part a particular type of heart disease called Coronary Artery Disease is discussed.It is the most common type of heart disease.

The lifetime risk of having cardiovascular disease is 3.6% for men and less than 1% for women for patients with no risk factors.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD), or coronary artery disease is usually caused by Atherosclerosis.When the major blood vessels(coronary arteries) that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients are narrowed by the formation of plaque(cholesterol and fatty deposits). These plaques can restrict flow of blood to the heart eventually causing  chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other symptoms.A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease often develops over decades, one might not notice a problem until a significant blockage is detected. A healthy lifestyle can make a big impact in preventing coronary heart disease.It is the most common type of heart disease around the world and one of the leading causes of death and disability among adults.

What causes it?

There are two main factors for increase in a person's risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease.

  1. Lifestyle Related                                                                                                               Hypertension.                                                                                                                   Diabetes.                                                                                                                   Obesity.                                                                                                                       Smoking.                                                                                                                   High levels of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad-cholesterol".                                   Low levels of high-density lipoprotein, or "good-cholesterol".                                                                                              
  2. Non Lifestyle Related                                                                                            Family history of Heart disease.                                                                             Male gender.                                                                                                            Race(Africans and Asians have higher risk compared to Caucasians).                                                                                           


The first symptom is usually chest pain that spreads to the neck, jaw, ears, arms, and wrists, and possibly to the shoulder blades, back, or abdomen.Especially during exercise the symptoms are more evident. 

  1. Unstable angina(Chest Pain).                                                                                   The following symptoms may occur in Angina-                                             Sweating                                                                                                                 Heartburn                                                                                               Squeezing,heaviness and tightening across the chest                             
  2. Shortness of breath.                                                                                                  Development of shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with exertion
  3. Heart Attack.                                                                                                        Women are less likely than men to experience typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Treatment & Research

There is no cure for CHD. However, there are ways that a person can manage the condition. Some people may need to take medications while others undergo medical procedures.It is recommend that focusing on lifestyle strategies, such as adopting a healthful diet and getting regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart diseases.

There has been a greater focus in research aimed at all aspects of CAD.There has been significant progress made in developing novel strategies ranging from drugs to robotic surgery to nanotechnology.Stem Cells research in cardiovascular disease has sought to repair myocardial damage and increase blood supply in the heart.