Cardiovascular Disease And Heart Disease

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According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease or heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America. Cardiovascular disease refers to a disease of the heart and/or blood vessels. It is also known as heart disease. The term cardiovascular disease covers many conditions and is extremely dangerous. Atherosclerosis is one of the major conditions that falls under the cardiovascular disease category. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when plaque, made from various substances that circulate in your blood, builds up on the walls of the arteries. The buildup narrows the arteries and makes it difficult for blood to flow through. The major risks of atherosclerosis are heart attack or stroke (American Heart Association, n.d.). A heart attack occurs when the oxygenated blood that typically flows to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off. This happens because the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood slowly become narrow from built up plaque. If a piece of plaque breaks off, a blood clot typically forms around the plaque and the clot can block the blood flow through the heart. When blood flow is blocked, the muscles of the heart becomes starved for oxygen and nutrients, this is known as ischemia. Because the body needs oxygen to carry out vital life processes, ischemia can cause damage or death to parts of the heart muscles. When damage occurs it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (American Heart
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