Cardiovascular diseases are a group of diseases that affect the heart and / or blood vessels. Among these we identify:
- Coronary heart disease: a disease of the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle.
- Cerebrovascular diseases: pathologies of the blood vessels that carry blood to the brain.
- Peripheral arteriopathies: diseases of the blood vessels that carry blood to the upper and lower limbs.
- The rheumatic heart disease: a disease that affects the muscle and heart valves causing a rheumatic fever due to the presence of streptococcus bacteria.
- Congenital heart diseases: malformations of the cardiovascular system present from birth.
- The deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: blood clot (thrombus) in the veins of the legs that can break off (emboli), and block blood vessels of the heart or the lung arteries.
The most common cause of these diseases is the formation of fat deposits in the walls of blood vessels that feed the heart or brain. Cerebral cardiovascular pathologies can be due to hemorrhages of cerebral vessels or blood clots (thrombi).
How to prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Follow a healthy and balanced diet: choosing the right foods will allow you to have good cardiovascular health.
- Overweight or obese people are more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. For this reason, as we said in the previous point, it is important to take care of the feeding.
- Consumption of alcohol and tobacco is one of the main factors that increase the chances of incurring cardiovascular disease. The use of alcoholic beverages should be restricted and tobacco should be completely eliminated. The latter seriously damages the blood vessels of the heart, brain and upper and lower extremities.
- Performing a regular physical activity is very useful for the heart. It is shown that people who practice physical activity reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce stress and control cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Maintaining the right levels of cholesterol and glucose is of fundamental importance in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Blood pressure should also be checked regularly.
- Reduce stress: stress is one of the causes of the onset of these diseases. Exercising, getting enough sleep and having satisfying social relationships will allow you to ease tensions.
Risk factors that cannot be controlled
- Age: when we get older, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases. Men aged 45 and over and women aged 55 and over have a higher risk.
- Sex: some risk factors may affect women differently than men. For example, estrogen allows women to have some protection against heart disease, but diabetes increases their risk (higher in women than in men).
- Race or ethnic group: some ethnic groups presented a higher incidence than others. African Americans are more likely than whites to suffer from heart disease, while Hispanics are less likely to suffer from heart disease. In some Asian populations, such as the more East Asians, a lower incidence of this type of disease has been recorded, while South Asians have higher rates.
- Family history: if you have a family member who has had heart disease, the probability of suffering from this type of disease is greater.
As you have read in this article, there are risk factors that cannot be changed. Others, however, can be modified. Following our recommendations – not smoking, avoiding alcoholic drinks, exercising and reducing stress – you will greatly reduce the risk of suffering from these diseases.