What Is CVD?
Cardiovascular disease refers to diseases of the heart, blood vessels, or both. Cardiovascular disease may include any disease that affects the cardiovascular system, such as cardiac disease, brain and kidney vascular diseases, and peripheral arterial disease.
What Causes CVD?
There are a number of causes of cardiovascular disease, although atherosclerosis and/or hypertension are the most prevalent. With age, there are a number of physiological and morphological changes that can affect heart function and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, even in healthy adults.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death around the world, although mortality rates have declined in a number of developed countries since the 1970s. Cardiovascular disease and deaths continue to climb in low- to middle-income countries.
Cardiovascular disease often affects older adults, though precursors to the condition, like atherosclerosis, can begin early in life. It is important to focus on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease at an early age by improving diet, exercising, and avoiding smoking.