The Causes and Effects of Cardiovascular Diseases

The Causes (and Effects) of Cardiovascular Diseases

On Monday, we kicked off our series on heart health for seniors, in honor of American Hearth Month (February).

As we mentioned, taking proper care of your heart is an essential part of maintaining good health. Part of that requires having a basic understanding of cardiovascular diseases and their causes and effects. So today, we are going to talk about just that. Take a look below:

What is cardiovascular disease?

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There are number of causes that develop heart cardiovascular disease, however, the most common are arthrosclerosis and/or hypertension.

Arthrosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis in which fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin build up in the inner lining of an artery, resulting in what is know as plaque. In turn, steady block up may result in complete blockage, which commonly leads to a heart attack or stroke. Some hardening of arteries normally occurs as we age, however, this process can be magnified by poor dieting choices, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated, in turn putting strain on the heart. If untreated, high blood pressure may lead to hypertensive heart disease or coronary artery disease. It is also a major risk fact of stroke, aortic aneurysms, peripheral arterial diseases, and chronic kidney disease.

Types of cardiovascular diseases

Below, we’ve outlined several kinds of cardiovascular diseases (adapted from WebMD):

  • Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries)
  • Heart attack
  • Abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Pericardial disease
  • Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
  • Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)

Effects of cardiovascular diseases

All in all, the biggest threat of cardiovascular diseases is a shortened life expectancy. As we mentioned in our previous post, heart disease is currently the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Aside from that, lack of care for your heart may also result in expensive medical bills for medication, exams, and possibly surgery.

On Friday, we’ll discuss ways to help you maintain your state of health and possibly prevent or decrease the risk of heart disease. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the information outlined above, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

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