Cardiovascular Disease is an umbrella term that covers all diseases that affect the heart and circulation system. This includes conditions such as Coronary Heart Disease, Angina, Heart Attack and Stroke.
Atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries with fatty plaque deposits, is often a hallmark of Cardiovascular Disease.
Cardiovascular Disease, also known as heart disease or circulatory disease, is an umbrella term that covers all diseases that affect the heart and circulation system. This includes conditions such as Coronary Heart Disease, Angina, Heart Attack and Stroke.
Cardiovascular Disease has a higher mortality rate than cancer. Last year 37% of all deaths in the first world were related to Cardiovascular Disease and many more disabilities were caused by cardiovascular episodes such as Stroke.
Recent research shows that the underlying causes of Cardiovascular Disease can begin to accumulate at childhood. By the time the resulting diseases have been detected atherosclerosis has usually been advancing for decades.
There are several Risk Factors that increase your chance of developing Cardiovascular Disease in one form or another.
Some, such as age and family history can’t be changed. However, other contributing factors such as smoking, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, physical inactivity, diabetes, poor nutrition, excessive consumption of alcohol (more than 2 standard drinks per day more than 4 days a week) obesity or just being overweight can increase your chance of developing Cardiovascular Disease.
To find out, visit your doctor. They’ll discuss your lifestyle and family history; take your height, weight and waist measurements; and assess your blood pressure, blood glucose and overall cholesterol levels.
They will then be able to identify whether you have a diagnosable Cardiovascular Disease such as Coronary Heart Disease, Angina or Arrhythmia, or whether you are at Risk of developing Cardiovascular Disease.
If any of the Risk Factors apply to you, such as smoking, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, physical inactivity, diabetes, poor nutrition, excessive consumption of alcohol, obesity, or just being overweight and over 45 years old, you may be at risk.
As Cardiovascular Disease is an umbrella term, treatment is specific to the diagnosed condition, and may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medication or supplements, or in some cases surgery.
Many Cardiovascular Diseases develop over several years, so taking steps now to improve your heart health is essential. Know your Risk Factors, manage them, and follow this quick guide to improved cardiovascular health. Importantly, if you have any concerns about your heart, particularly if you have a family history of heart disease, don’t delay – talk to your doctor.
If you smoke, there has never been a better time to quit. Nicotine replacement patches or prescription medications are effective in reducing the cravings.
Do you know your cholesterol levels? Most people don't. Information is key, so knowing where you stand is the first step in keeping track and maintaining your heart health. You can order a Blood Pathology Request through HeartSmart.me. Results are mailed directly to you and you can track your results using the My Heart Health section of HeartSmart.me.
Supplements are a great way to make sure you're getting your daily requirement of heart healthy nutrients. Supplements such as Omega 3 fish oil, Vitamins C and E and Coenzyme Q10 can be very beneficial to your heart health.
If you have diabetes, follow your doctor’s direction and keep your blood glucose within a healthy range. Even if you don't have diabetes, stick to a low GI (Glycaemic Index) diet. You won’t be hungry and your blood sugar levels will be stable.
Order a HeartSmart.me blood pressure monitor and keep track of your blood pressure weekly. You can record your results in the My Heart Health section of HeartSmart.me. Aim to keep your blood pressure out of the danger zone - below 140/90mmHg. If your blood pressure is consistently high see your doctor.
Get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, or at least 2 hours in total per week. Even better, if you can get 4 hours of sweaty activity per week, you'll help lower your Risk of cancer too.
Get your waist measurement to your 'low risk' zone. Men should keep it below 95cm and women should be below 80cm. Aim for a Body Mass Index of less than 25. You can track your progress in the My Heart Health section of HeartSmart.me.
Happiness is good for the heart. Just as negative emotions such as depression, anger, and hostility are risk factors for heart attack and stroke, studies show that happiness seems to protect the heart.