Cardiovascular Disease

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Chapter 11 Summary
Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for various diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The leading cause of death in the United States because it affects nearly 83 million Americans. This disease is due to the way of our life mostly. Millions of Americans smoke, are overweight, have uncontrolled high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, and they don’t even know the signs of CVD. Major risk factors for cardiovascular disease that can be changed are tobacco, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, and diabetes.

Smoking harms the cardiovascular system in numerous ways. It damages the lining of arteries. It reduces the level of good cholesterol and it raises the levels of bad cholesterol. Tobacco also increases your heart rate and blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for other forms of CVD, including heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. A person may have high bold pressure for years without even realizing they have it and during that time, it damages vital organs and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and heart failure.

An estimate of 40-60 million Americans are at high risk for developing CVD because of physical inactivity. Exercise is thought to be the closest thing we have to avoid CVD because it lower the risk by helping to decrease blood pressure, maintain desirable weight, prevent or control diabetes, and increase HDL levels.
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