Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the United States accounts for the highest portion of heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack. It can occur when plaque, or cholesterol deposits in the blood, accumulate in the arteries and lead to blockages in the area, which accounts for atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the blood vessels. When these blood vessels start to close, the volume of blood that reaches the heart decreases at an increasing rate. With time, this leads to a weakened heart muscle that leaves the organ unable to provide the body with sufficient blood, and can manifest in several ways, including as angina (chest pain) or arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). More life-threatening symptoms can include a heart attack or stroke, when the plaque in the blood vessel completely blocks the artery carrying blood to the heart or the brain, respectively, causing the organ to malfunction [1]. Since CVD causes over one million Americans to suffer from heart attacks each year, the American Heart Association has deemed it a very important issue to solve [2]. In other countries, such as New Zealand, one person dies every 90 minutes, on average, due to cardiovascular disease, accounting for nearly 25% of all deaths in the country [3].
Since CVD is a widespread disease, there are many components of its cause. According to several different scientific studies, several risk factors can dictate whether a certain individual might be more susceptible to developing CVD than others, and they can be separated into controllable and non-controllable factors [3].
Some risk factors that can be controlled through diet/lifestyle and medications include cholesterol intake and level, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, ...

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...ny scientific studies of the relationship between blood pressure and myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks. This occurs because, in high-blood pressure patients, the heart is working harder than normal to be able to pump sufficient blood to various parts of the body. In these cases, the heart will need to use more energy and oxygen, requiring a higher volume of blood flow, which can put pressure on the cardiovascular system to provide it. This can create a positive feedback loop that strains the physiological system and eventually lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and/or stroke. If this is controlled, the risk of developing these also can be controlled [4].

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