The cardiovascular, or circulatory, system supplies the body with blood. It consists of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries.
CVD is now the most common cause of death worldwide. However, there are many ways to reduce the risk of developing these conditions. There are also many treatment options available if do they occur.
The treatment, symptoms, and prevention of the conditions that are part of CVD often overlap.
In this article, we look at the different types of CVD, their symptoms and causes, and how to prevent and treat them.
There are many types of CVD.
CVD comprises many different types of condition. Some of these might develop at the same time or lead to other conditions or diseases within the group.
Diseases and conditions that affect the heart include:
angina, a type of chest pain that occurs due to decreased blood flow into the heart
arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm
congenital heart disease, in which a problem with heart function or structure is present from birth
coronary artery disease, which affects the arteries that feed the heart muscle
heart attack, or a sudden blockage to the hearts blood flow and oxygen supply
heart failure, wherein the heart cannot contract or relax normally
dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure, in which the heart gets larger and cannot pump blood efficiently
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle walls thicken and problems with relaxation of the muscle, blood flow, and electrical instability develop
mitral regurgitation, in which blood leaks back through the mitral valve of the heart during contractions
mitral valve prolapse, in which part of the mitral valve bulges into the left atrium of the heart while it contracts, causing mitral regurgitationpulmonary stenosis, in which a narrowing of the pulmonary artery reduces blood flow from the right ventricle (pumping chamber to the lungs) to the pulmonary artery (blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs)
aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valve that can cause blockage to blood flow leaving the heart
atrial fibrillation, an irregular rhythm that can increase the risk of stroke
rheumatic heart disease, a complication of strep throat that causes inflammation in the heart and which can affect the function of heart valves
radiation heart disease, wherein radiation to the chest can lead to damage to the heart valves and blood vessels
Vascular diseases affect the arteries, veins, or capillaries throughout the body and around the heart.
peripheral artery disease, which causes arteries to become narrow and reduces blood flow to the limbs
aneurysm, a bulge or enlargement in an artery that can rupture and bleed
atherosclerosis, in which plaque forms along the walls of blood vessels, narrowing them and restricting the flow of oxygen rich blood
renal artery disease, which affects the flow of blood to and from the kidneys and can lead to high blood pressure
Raynauds disease, which causes arteries to spasm and temporarily restrict blood flow
peripheral venous disease, or general damage in the veins that transport blood from the feet and arms back to the heart, which causes leg swelling and varicose veins
ischemic stroke, in which a blood clot moves to the brain and causes damage
venous blood clots, which can break loose and become dangerous if they travel to the pulmonary artery
blood clotting disorders, in which blood clots form too quickly or not quickly enough and lead to excessive bleeding or clotting
Buergers disease, which leads to blood clots and inflammation, often in the legs, and which may result in gangrene
It is possible to manage some health conditions within CVD by making lifestyle changes, but some conditions may be life threatening and require emergency surgery.
Symptoms will vary depending on the specific condition. Some conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension, may initially cause no symptoms at all.
However, typical symptoms of an underlying cardiovascular issue include:
pain or pressure in the chest, which may indicate angina
pain or discomfort in the arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back
shortness of breath
nausea and fatigue
lightheadedness or dizziness
Although these are the most common ones, CVD can cause symptoms anywhere in the body.
Regular exercise can help prevent CVD.
People can take the following steps to prevent some of the conditions within CVD:
Manage body weight: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders advise that if a person loses 5–10% of their body weight, they may reduce their risk of developing CVD.
Get regular exercise: The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend doing 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity every week.