Difference Between Cardiovascular Disease & Heart Disease

Are Cardiovascular Disease & Heart Disease The Same?

Cardiovascular disease and heart disease are two different things. Learning about both helps in eliminating the problem to a greater extent

According to the Center for Disease Control, Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the USA. Cardiovascular disease affects the function of heart, such as Coronary Artery disease, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure, heart valve disease, congenital heart disease, heart muscle disease, pericardial disease, Aorta disease, Marfan syndrome, and vascular disease

Often the word “heart disease” is used in the place of “cardiovascular disease.” But a cardiovascular disease describes problems related to blood vessels, circulatory system, and the heart. On the other hand, heart disease refers to deformities in the heart itself.

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Healthcare specialists believe that early treatment can reduce the risk of Cardiovascular disease, letting patients live a happy life. Learning about the disease will help the patients take care of themselves. Let’s dive right in and get a better picture of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of cardiovascular and heart disease. 

Causes of cardiovascular disease 

Coronary Artery Disease is caused due to fatty deposits in the arteries. This process of accumulation is called Atherosclerosis. It’s a condition when arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material called atheroma within their walls.  These fatty deposits cause a narrowing and restrict the blood flow through the artery. As time goes by, arteries get thinner that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This causes angina – a pain or chest discomfort.

Atherosclerosis also referred to as hardening or clogging of the arteries is the build-up of cholesterol and fatty deposits known as plaques. These plaques prevent the supply of blood to the heart muscle by physically blocking the artery or by causing abnormal artery tone and function. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is restrained, or when the energy demand of the heart is higher than its blood supply, a person faces heart attack/Myocardial infarction. 

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When a piece of atheroma in the arteries breaks away, it forms a blood clot. This blood clot blocks the coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, the heart muscle may become permanently damaged. In medical terms, we call it a heart attack. When a blood clot blocks an artery that carries blood to the brain, it can cut off the blood supply to part of your brain causing a stroke.

Risk factors related to CVD

  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Radiation therapy
  • Smoking
  • Insomnia
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Diets that are high in fat combined with carbohydrates
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Alcoholism
  • Stress
  • Air pollution
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and reduced lung function

Symptoms of cardiovascular disease

When we talk about symptoms, they are not generic to the conditions and individuals.  Symptoms vary from person to person based on the type of cardiovascular disease. However, typical symptoms of an underlying cardiovascular issue include:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms/left shoulder / elbows/ jaw/ back
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headed or faint
  • Cold sweat

Heart disease can be easily treated if it’s detected on time. A person with these symptoms and a family history of heart disease should seek emergency medical care.

Treatment of cardiovascular disease

Treatment for cardiac problems is based on the condition of the person. It includes medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery or procedures. 

Lifestyle adaptations: weight control, exercise, quitting smoking, and dietary changes Cholesterol-lowering medication

Surgery, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)

Cardiac rehabilitation, including exercise and counseling

Treatment aims at eliminating the cardiac problems by lowering the symptoms, risk of recurring and prevent the complications. Based on the condition, it may also help to stabilize heart rhythms, reduce blockages, and enlarges the arteries to enable a better flow of blood.

Conclusion

Fortunately, there are things you can follow in order to lower the risk of Cardiovascular disease:

Maintain your blood pressure, keep your cholesterol and triglyceride level stable, manage your weight, do regular exercise, say no to alcohol, avoid smoking, don’t take stress, manage diabetes and sleep on time.

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