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Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease: Introduction

Cardiovascular disease is a general name for a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions that affect the heart and sometimes the blood vessels as well. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood institute.

Types of cardiovascular disease includes angina, heart attack (myocardial infarction), atherosclerosis, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Other forms of cardiovascular disease include congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, infections of the heart, coronary artery disease, heart valve disorders, myocarditis, and pericarditis.

Symptoms of cardiovascular disease vary depending on the specific type of cardiovascular disease. A classic symptom of cardiovascular disease is chest pain. However, with some forms of cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, there may be no symptoms in some people until life-threatening complications develop. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

Risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease include having hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia), obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other risk factors include being of African-American ancestry, male, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, having a lot of long-term stress, smoking and having a family history of a heart attack at an early age.

Certain congenital heart defects can run in families and/or be caused by exposure during pregnancy to specific toxins. Pregnant women with some conditions and diseases can have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.

People who have a high C-protein levels, which increase atherosclerosis, are also at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, people who have high homocysteine levels, which may damage artery walls and increase the risk of clots, are also at an increased risk.

Making a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease includes completing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination. A comprehensive evaluation from a licensed health care professional includes compiling and analyzing many factors that impact cardiovascular disease risk. These include lifestyle, family history, personal history, dietary habits, weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, stress levels, and smoking/drinking habits.

Tests that may be used to diagnose cardiovascular disease or the risk of cardiovascular disease include blood tests, exercise stress testing, EKG, X-Ray, and imaging tests, such as heart scan, ultrasound and echocardiogram. A coronary angiogram may be dome in certain cases. A coronary angiogram is an invasive procedure that reveals which coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked.

It is very possible that a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease can be missed or delayed because there may be no symptoms and for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is treated with an individualized treatment plan that best fits the individual case of cardiovascular disease, a person's life style and other factors. Treatment involves regular medical monitoring and testing, lifestyle and dietary changes, and may include medications and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of cardiovascular disease. ...more »

Cardiovascular Disease: Cardiovascular disease includes heart disease and stroke. About 57 million Americans live with some form of cardiovascular disease, which ... more about Cardiovascular Disease.

Cardiovascular Disease: Diseases of the heart or blood vessels including cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Cardiovascular Disease is available below.

Cardiovascular Disease: Symptoms

Chest pain is often thought of as a classic symptom of cardiovascular disease. However, now all people with cardiovascular disease have chest pain. Some people even have a heart attack without chest pain. In addition, by the time a person experiences chest pain, he or she may have had a form of cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis for a ...more symptoms »

Cardiovascular Disease: Treatments

Treatment of cardiovascular disease begins with prevention. Many forms of cardiovascular disease can be prevented or controlled effectively with prevention measures that include regular exercise, not smoking or drinking excessively, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a heart-healthy well-balanced diet. Risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and ...more treatments »

Cardiovascular Disease: Misdiagnosis

Early diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease is vital to preventing serious, even life threatening complications, such as cardiac arrest and death.

A diagnosis of cardiovascular disease may be overlooked or delayed because there may be no symptoms in some forms of cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, especially in early stages. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Cardiovascular Disease:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular Disease: Related Patient Stories

Cardiovascular Disease: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Cardiovascular Disease.

Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease: Complications

Read more about complications of Cardiovascular Disease.

Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

Read more about causes of Cardiovascular Disease.

More information about causes of Cardiovascular Disease:

Disease Topics Related To Cardiovascular Disease

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Cardiovascular Disease:

Cardiovascular Disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Cardiovascular Disease

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is more »

Cardiovascular Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Cardiovascular Disease

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Cardiovascular Disease:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Cardiovascular Disease, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Cardiovascular Disease: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Latest Treatments for Cardiovascular Disease

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Cardiovascular Disease

Medical research articles related to Cardiovascular Disease include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Cardiovascular Disease: Animations

Prognosis for Cardiovascular Disease

Research about Cardiovascular Disease

Visit our research pages for current research about Cardiovascular Disease treatments.

Clinical Trials for Cardiovascular Disease

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Cardiovascular Disease include:

Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Prevention information for Cardiovascular Disease has been compiled from various data sources and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.

Statistics for Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease: Broader Related Topics

Cardiovascular Disease Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Cardiovascular Disease, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease includes heart disease and stroke. About 57 million Americans live with some form of cardiovascular disease, which causes more than 40% of all deaths in the United States; 950,000 Americans every year. Heart disease and stroke cost the nation almost $260 billion annually. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Cardiovascular Disease: CDC-OC)

Definitions of Cardiovascular Disease:

A non-neoplastic or neoplastic disorder affecting the heart or the vessels (arteries, veins and lymph vessels). Representative examples of non-neoplastic cardiovascular disorders are endocarditis and hypertension. Representative examples of neoplastic cardiovascular disorders are endocardial myxoma and angiosarcoma. -- 2003 - (Source - Diseases Database)

Contents for Cardiovascular Disease:
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