What is Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and premature mortality in the world contributing to over 17.5 million deaths every year. Given the high economic burden of cardiovascular disease on the patient and his family and the increase in the disease incidence, there is the risk of the rich becoming poor and the poor dying just because they cannot afford the treatment.

India already holds the title of the diabetic capital of the world. Estimates indicate that by 2025, we will also be the CVD capital of the world with estimation of 69.8 million cases. Though various types of cardiovascular diseases exist and plague Indians, the most common are coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease and rheumatic heart disease.

Congenital heart disease refers to those conditions which are present in a person since birth and which may develop in the new born from the first three-four weeks of pregnancy. While some people born with congenital heart disease may not need any treatment and go on to lead healthy lives with minor precautions, some cases may just few years of life. And if detected and treated early, the disease results in almost no mortality.

Rheumatic heart disease, on the other hand, is an acquired condition caused by rheumatic fever in school going, children. It is mostly found in developing countries and results from throat infection by particular bacteria. Given the vagueness of the symptoms, it is extremely important that parents consult their family doctors even at the slightest suspicion.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is caused due to the narrowing and choking of the heart artery walls over a period of time, due to the deposit of plaque. People in today’s day and age are faced with high levels of stress which causes one to eat an unhealthy diet, have sleepless nights, depend more on toxic substance such as alcohol and cigarettes and exercise less. All these lead to an increase in the incidence of CAD.

Given the high risk of coronary artery disease among Indians and the risks associated with it, it is highly recommended that all take necessary precautions and start living a healthy lifestyle. Follow the steps given here to reduce chance of suffering from cardiac diseases in the future:

What is Cardiovascular Disease

Tips to Treat Heart Disease:

Eat Healthy and Sleep Right:

A healthy and balanced diet is the key for a healthy heart. A healthy diet must consist of items, which have low levels of saturated fats and more of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating nuts and soy regularly are also found to be associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. In addition to consuming a healthy diet, it is also recommended that each person gets a minimum of seven-eight hours of sleep in a day.

Exercise Regularly:

Regularly exercise is important to strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, keep obesity under control, get rid of stress, boost self-esteem and help sleep better. By regularly exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days of a week, you can keep your heart healthy.

Stub the Butt:

Smoking is extremely dangerous for your heart and is a leading cause of heart attacks amongst the young.

Limit Intake of Alcohol:

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol cause raised blood pressure, which is one of the most important risk factors for having a heart attack or a stroke. An increase in your blood pressure can also be caused by weight gain from excessive drinking. Obesity too leads to cardiovascular ailments.


High levels of stress worsen other risk factors of heart disease such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure pushing you to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Engaging in deep breathing exercise, or doing yoga help decrease stress and the temptation to indulge in bad habits. Thus keeping one’s stress levels under control is extremely important for good heart health.

Get Regular Health Check-ups:

Last but not the least, one must get regular health check-ups done to ensure that blood pressure, hypertension and cholesterol are all under control and also to rule out the risk of heart disease in the future. If at risk, necessary lifestyle changes must be made.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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