Cardiovascular Disease:Causes,symptoms,Complication, Cost and Treatment
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is now the most common cause of death) worldwide. However, there are many ways to reduce the risk of developing these conditions. There are also many treatment options available if do they occur.
The treatment, symptoms, and prevention of the conditions that are part of CVD often overlap.
In this article, we look at the different types of CVD, their symptoms and causes,diagnosis and how to prevent and treat them.
Symptoms will vary depending on the specific condition. Some conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension, may initially cause no symptoms at all.
However, typical symptoms of an underlying cardiovascular issue include:
- pain or pressure in the chest, which may indicate angina
- pain or discomfort in the arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back
- shortness of breath
- nausea and fatigue
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- cold sweats
Although these are the most common ones, CVD can cause symptoms anywhere in the body.
Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease
Some of the common tests used to diagnose cardiovascular diseases include:
Blood tests like fats, cholesterol and lipid components of blood including LDL, HDL, Triglycerides.
Blood sugar and Glycosylated hemoglobin is measured for detection of diabetes. Apolipoprotein A1 and B are used to detect inflammation.
The main test which helps to detect Cardiovascular disease is ECG (Electrocardiogram), Echocardiography, Coronary Angiography and Cardiac Catheterization, Chest X Ray, Electron-Beam Computed Tomography or EBCT and Cardiac MRI etc.
The treatment option that is best for a person will depend on their specific type of CVD.
However, some options include:
- medication, such as to reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol, improve blood flow, or regulate heart rhythm
- surgery, such as coronary artery bypass grafting or valve repair or replacement surgery
- cardiac rehabilitation, including exercise prescriptions and lifestyle counseling
Treatment aims to:
- relieve symptoms
- reduce the risk of the condition or disease recurring or getting worse
- prevent complications, such as hospital admission, heart failure, stroke, heart attack, or death
Depending on the condition, a healthcare provider may also seek to stabilize heart rhythms, reduce blockages, and relax the arteries to enable a better flow of blood.
Many types of CVD occur as a complication of atherosclerosis.
Damage to the circulatory system can also result from diabetes and other health conditions, such as a virus, an inflammatory process such as myocarditis, or a structural problem present from birth (congenital heart disease).
CVD often results from high blood pressure, which produces no symptoms. It is therefore vital that people undergo regular screening for high blood pressure.
Many types of CVD are preventable. It is vital to address risk factors by taking the following steps:
- reducing the use of alcohol and tobacco
- eating fresh fruit and vegetables
- reducing salt, sugar, and saturated fat intake
- avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, particularly for children
Adopting damaging lifestyle habits, such as eating a high sugar diet and not getting much physical activity, may not lead to CVD while a person is still young, as the effects of the condition are cumulative.
However, continued exposure to these risk factors can contribute to the development of CVD later in life.
Researchers reported in the journal JAMA that the lifetime risk of CVD is more than 50% for both men and women.
Their study paper notes that even among those with few or no cardiovascular risk factors, the risk is still higher than 30%.
Risk factors for CVD include:
- high blood pressure, or hypertension
- atherosclerosis or blockages in the arteries
- radiation therapy
- poor sleep hygiene
- high blood cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia
- a high fat, high carbohydrate diet
- physical inactivity
- sleep apnea
- excessive alcohol consumption
- air pollution
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or other forms of reduced lung function
People with one cardiovascular risk factor often have more. For example, obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. A person may have all four conditions at the same time.