Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), such as heart attack and stroke, involve the heart
and blood vessels. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death,
and in the U.S., heart disease is the most frequent and stroke the fifth or sixth most frequent
cause of death. CVD kills more than 800,000 Americans every year, and these
deaths take an average of 15 years off of the normal lifespan. Even among young
people in their twenties, heart attacks are one of the top ten causes of death. Together,
heart disease and stroke accounted for more than $500 billion in health care
expenditures and related expenses in 2010.4 Fortunately, the commonest types of
cardiovascular disease, those caused by atherosclerosis, are among the most preventable.
This chapter will help you prevent CVD with the Building Blocks of Health.
What causes cardiovascular diseases?
Most cardiovascular disease results from the complications of atherosclerosis,
(commonly called arteriosclerosis), and high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis results
from the slow, progressive, and usually silent accumulation of cholesterol and
calcium in the walls of arteries that forms a plaque that thickens arterial walls. The
resultant loss of flexibility, scarring, and narrowing of the artery cuts down on or
even blocks the ability of the vessel to carry blood. Atherosclerosis can disrupt
and limit the flow of blood to any part of the body. When the coronary arteries that
supply blood to the heart’s muscle are narrowed, one result can be chest pain, or
angina, caused when the blood supply to the heart cannot keep up with the extra oxygen
demand of exertion. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), an
estimated 10 million people in the U.S. suffer from angina. Atherosclerosis can also
cause limited exercise tolerance or heart failure because the heart muscle’s ability
to pump blood is weakened by an inadequate supply of blood or previous damage
to the heart’s muscle.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel