Cardiovascular Disease Essay

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Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is a term used for diseases involving the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins. The problems associated with cardiovascular disease are often a result of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of plaque in artery walls, which disrupts blood flow through the arteries (American Heart Association, 2011). Cardiovascular disease causes a variety of conditions including heart attacks, ischemic stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and heart valve problems (American Heart Association, 2011). These conditions lead to serious health related issues for individuals, including death. Every year there are around 600,000 individuals in the United States that die from cardiovascular disease, making heart disease the leading cause of death in both men and women (CDC, 2014). Although there are ways to decrease the risk of heart disease, the rate has been consistently increasing over the years, costing America billions of dollars in health care services annually. Contributing factors to the rise in heart disease includes the rate of obesity and a lack of physical activity (Dhaliwal, Welborn & Howat, 2013; Poirier, Giles, Bray, Hong, Pi-Sunyer & Eckel, 2006). These articles provide research that answers the question of how obesity and physical activity are linked to cardiovascular disease.
Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease
Along with an increase in cardiovascular disease, the rate of obesity is rising as well. Obesity is linked to a number of other diseases, known as comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease. Because of the adjustments the body must make to function in severely overweight individuals, cardiac structure must adapt to the adipose tiss...

... middle of paper ... conditions of cardiovascular disease that have been linked to obesity, including strokes, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and arrhythmias. All of these conditions can be improved or prevented by the individual losing ten percent of their body weight. Physical activity also plays a crucial role in cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that the greater the amount of physical activity, the less the chance for developing cardiovascular disease, even when other factors, such as Framingham’s scale, are accounted for. Regarding future research, a study further researching genetic and environmental links to cardiovascular disease would provide helpful information. Also, research studying the effects of physical activity after the onset of cardiovascular disease could be beneficial to determine if physical activity can improve patients’ conditions.

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