Are you puzzled about what is cardiovascular disease? You have come to the right place because today we tell you everything you need to know about it. We cover the signs of cardiovascular disease and the symptoms of heart failure in the elderly and much more interesting information about the diagnosis, treatment, and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases.
What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to a group of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. It is also commonly known as heart disease. The most common types of CVD include coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
What is a cardiovascular disease example?
Cardiovascular diseases are among the most common diseases influencing the elderly. Here are some examples of such diseases:
- Hypertension – this is a state in which the blood pressure in the arteries is too high. This can lead to damage to the blood vessels, heart, brain and kidneys.
- Coronary heart disease – is a condition in which the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked. This can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath and other symptoms.
- Myocardial infarction – occurs when blood stops flowing to part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. Myocardial infarction is a serious condition that can lead to death.
- Heart failure – a state in which the heart does not pump blood effectively enough to meet the body’s needs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue and weakness.
- Atherosclerosis – a condition in which fat and other substances form deposits inside blood vessels, leading to narrowing or blockage. Atherosclerosis can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
- Cardiac arrhythmia – is a medical disorder in which the heart rhythm is disturbed. This can lead to breathlessness, dizziness and other symptoms.
- Peripheral artery disease – a condition in which blood vessels in the legs, arms or other parts of the body become narrowed or blocked. This can lead to pain, shortness of breath and other symptoms.
Risk of heart attack by age
The risk of a heart attack increases with age. As we grow older, our bodies undergo an ageing process, which affects many risk factors for heart attack, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. Here is an approximate estimate of the risk of heart attack according to age:Age 40-49: approximately 1% risk over the next 10 years
- Age 50-59: approximately 3% risk over the next 10 years
- Age 60-69: approximately 10% risk over the next 10 years
- Age 70-79: around 20% risk in the next 10 years
These figures are, of course, only estimates and may vary depending on each person’s risk factors. In any case, it is important to look after your heart health and follow healthy lifestyle recommendations, such as diet, regular physical activity and avoiding smoking, to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Early signs of heart disease
The early signs of heart disease can vary depending on the condition. Some heart diseases, such as atherosclerosis, develop over a long time without causing visible symptoms. However, some signs of cardiovascular disease may suggest a heart problem and should be consulted with a doctor. Here are some of the early signs of heart disease:
- Chest pain or discomfort that may radiate to the shoulders, neck, back, or jaw.
- Fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing while doing normal activities such as walking upstairs or doing physical work.
- Fainting or dizziness may be caused by low blood pressure or abnormal heart rhythm.
- Abnormal heartbeats, such as tachycardia (fast heartbeat) or bradycardia (slow heartbeat).
- Swelling around the ankles, feet, or legs.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can help prevent serious complications such as heart attack or stroke.
How to respond to signs of cardiovascular disease?
Prevention of heart disease in seniors is key to maintaining good health and preventing serious heart disease. Seniors should first focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats and limiting salt and sugar intake. Refrain from smoking and avoid alcohol.
Moreover, regular physical activity is vital to maintain good heart health in seniors. This can include aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling, as well as strength and stretching exercises.
It is also important to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Seniors should check their blood cholesterol levels regularly and change their diet or take medication if cholesterol levels are too high. Finally, it is necessary to undergo regular check-ups. Seniors should visit their doctor regularly and undergo follow-up tests such as blood sugar, cholesterol tests and ECGs to detect heart disease early.