What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease is a disease of the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular). The accumulation of plaque causes the blood vessels (veins) to narrow, which reduces the ability of blood to flow in and out of the heart.
Cardiovascular disease is a general term that includes many types of heart disease, such as heart attack and stroke.
What are major risk factors of cardiovascular disease?
- Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Inflammation of any part of the heart or major artery
- Blood clots
- Family history
What are the symptoms of a heart attack? – Call 911 if you think you’re having a heart attack.
- Uncomfortable pressure
- Fullness or excruciating pain in the chest radiating to the neck, jaw, shoulders or arms
- Increased sweating
- Shortness of breath
What are the symptoms of a stroke? – Call 911 if you think you’re having a stroke.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
What is the treatment for cardiovascular disease?
- Regular physicals and checkups
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Reducing high cholesterol
- Managing diabetes
- Reducing stress
- Reducing salt and sodium in your diet
- Prescription medications
- Surgery and other procedures
How can I prevent cardiovascular disease?
You can’t control your age, family history or gender, but you can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Be physically active every day
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stop smoking
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce your cholesterol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage your diabetes
Where can I find more information about cardiovascular disease?
Visit the Cardiovascular Disease webpages on our community education website www.gethealthyclarkcounty.org.
Updated on: August 16, 2018