Cardiovascular disease is an encompassing term for any condition which involves the heart and its directly connected blood vessels – “cardio” + “vascular.” Usually, this type of disease is associated with fatty deposit buildup inside the arteries. It also increases the risk of blood clots.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the primary causes of death throughout the world, but it can be prevented and controlled by starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Below are several of the most common health issues that cardiovascular disease can cause, and what you can do about them:
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common heart issue in the U.S. This causes a reduced or blocked flow of oxygenated blood to the heart, and the lack of oxygen-rich blood can lead to the following:
Also called a myocardial infarction, a heart attack is a serious health condition wherein there is not enough oxygenated blood being supplied to the heart. This is an immediate emergency that can seriously damage the heart muscle, and it is the number-one cause of death among both men and women.
Heart attack symptoms can include squeezing chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or vomiting. You may also feel radiating pain to your shoulders, arms, or jaw.
Angina is chest pain resulting from reduced blood flow to the heart. It is usually not life-threatening, although it is a possible warning sign of heart attack or stroke risk.
Symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. Angina is most often caused by atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries. It is also triggered by stress, and the feeling stops a few minutes after resting.
Congestive Heart Failure
This is a condition whereby the heart cannot pump blood to the body effectively. It is usually caused by coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
Congestive heart failure happens when the heart has become too weak or too stiff. Although it can occur to people at any age, this is more common in older people. Congestive heart failure cannot be cured entirely, but the symptoms can be managed for many years.
A stroke takes place when the blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked. This can cause brain damage and even possible death if the case is severe.
A mini-stroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA), is similar to a normal stroke, except that there is only a temporary disruption to the brain’s blood flow.
In order of severity, strokes can be identified as a TIA, an ischemic stroke, or a hemorrhagic stroke. A stroke is ischemic when there is a blockage in an artery, and this is the most common type of reported stroke. (Most TIAs go unreported because they are brief.) Meanwhile, a hemorrhagic stroke is when an artery suddenly bursts in or near the brain.
Aortic disease comprises several conditions which directly affect the aorta. The aorta is the artery that is responsible for carrying blood directly from the heart to the rest of the body.
An aortic aneurysm causes an outward bulge in the aorta. This condition does not present any apparent symptoms, but it could potentially burst and cause life-threatening internal bleeding.
Symptoms for aortic disease are often only picked up through tests. However, people may experience the following sensations:
- A pulsing feeling in the stomach
- Persistent stomach pain
- Persistent back pain
Cardiovascular Services in Ohio
A healthy lifestyle helps to combat the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. This means reducing or eliminating smoking, following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, taking appropriate medication, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Wooster Community Hospital offers cardiovascular services by experienced healthcare practitioners to diagnose and treat your condition. We advocate regular health screenings for our patients in order to detect and prevent any underlying health condition from developing, including heart disease and vascular issues.
To schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (330) 263-8100, or fill out our online request form. Together, let’s take care of your heart!