Cardiovascular disease is not a single ailment, as it is a disorder/s that relates to all of the heart and circulatory system. Heart disease can refer to damage in the heart’s lining, valves, muscle, arteries, or electrical system. A person can often suffer from several types of cardiovascular (heart) disorders at the same time. Or there may be several different problems related to a single underlying cause.
A person can be born with a diseased heart, or develop heart disease. Some risk factors leading to heart disease are controllable such as smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. Other risk factors are not controllable such as a persons age, gender and ethnicity.
Healthy arteries are flexible and like elastic. An aneurysm is where the hearts artery loses its elasticity. Instead of keeping its smooth cylindrical shape, the artery may develop a bulge. Having lost its elasticity and strength the damaged artery may rupture. It is like when a balloon explodes after someone puts in too much air.
Angina is a symptom of myocardial ischemia, usually caused by coronary atherosclerosis. Patients will feel chest pressure and acute shortness of breath.
Arrhythmia is any deviation from or disturbance of a normal hearts rhythm. The basic rhythm of the heart is a regulated process designed to insure efficiency and optimal
performance. It is a dynamic process that changes according to the metabolic needs of the body. The cardiac rhythm involves several different small and large structures within the normal heart.
Atherosclerosis is also known as “hardening of the arteries”. It is caused by the gradual buildup of fats, cholesterol and other materials in the arteries. This build up causes the artery to narrow and become less flexible. Arteries loose elasticity as a natural part of the aging process. However, poor diet and smoking speed up this process.