Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
​What are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders afflicting the heart and blood vessels, and they include:
  • Coronary heart disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • Cerebrovascular disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
  • Peripheral arterial disease: A disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
  • Rheumatic heart disease: Damage to the heart muscle and heart valves resulting from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • Congenital heart disease: Malformations of heart structure observed at birth;
  • Obstructive pulmonary: Blood clots in the leg veins, which can move to the heart and lungs. 
What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
The factors for cardiovascular diseases are documented and well-known.
The most important causes of cardiovascular disease are as follows: 
  1. High blood pressure
  2. Diabetes
  3. Cholesterol
  4. Obesity
  5. Smoking
  6. Family history
  7. Unhealthy diet
  8. Physical inactivity
What are common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases?
Often, there are no symptoms of the disease of the blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of the disease.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
  • Pain in the center of the chest.
  • Pain or discomfort in the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back.
  • Breathing difficulty in or shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting.
  • Cold sweating and paleness of face.
  • Symptoms experienced by women in particular, include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Symptoms of strokes:
  • Sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body.
  • Numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding the speech of others.
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Severe headache with no known cause, fainting or unconsciousness.
People with these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
How to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases?
No less than 80% of premature deaths resulting from heart diseases and strokes could be avoided by abiding by the followings:
  • Maintaining a healthy diet including eating vegetables and fruits and avoiding junk food and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second hand smoking.
  • Periodic checkup for sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure for those who are over 40, even if they have no any complain.
  • Educating the community about methods of prevention against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Avoiding herbal and traditional medicine which may delay treatment and cause serious complications. 
Ways of protection against heart diseases:
There are several ways to prevent the disease, including the followings:
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Abiding by a balanced diet.
  • Avoiding bad habits such as smoking.
  • Avoiding psychological factors of the disease. 
Comprehensive and integrated procedures for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases:
The comprehensive procedures necessitate combining different approaches for reducing the risks to the population in general by following strategies targeting people at risk or those diagnosed with the disease.
Examples of population-wide interventions that can be implemented to reduce cardiovascular disease include:
  • The integrated approaches focus on the most common risk factors for a number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and smoking.
  • Taxation to reduce the intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.
  • Providing healthy school meals to children.
  • Comprehensive tobacco control policies.
  • Building walking and cycle paths to increase physical activity. 
There is a need for increased government investment through national programs aimed at prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases and all chronic diseases. Such investments will help the governments to preserve their citizens' health and increase productivity and to avoid excessive spending on treatment of such cases.

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Last Update 04 March 2018 10:19 AM
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