What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.
It's usually associated with a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries – known as atherosclerosis – and an increased risk of blood clots. It can also be associated with damage to arteries in organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes.
The three main conditions are:
- coronary heart disease (which can cause angina or heart attack)
- peripheral arterial disease (also known as peripheral vascular disease)
CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, but often it can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.
In the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care area alone, more than 222,514 people are affected by high blood pressure (hypertension) – a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Whilst over 32,252 people have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and more than 29,600 people have experienced a stroke or mini-stroke (TIA).
Causes of CVD
The exact cause of CVD isn't clear, but there are many things that can increase your risk of developing CVD. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances are of developing CVD.
How healthy is your heart?
Check your heart age here
What does it tell you about your heart? Whatever the answer, now is the right time to think about how to change your lifestyle for the better. We've put together some of our favourite sources of information, advice and help so that you can find them easily.
You could also talk to your practice nurse about how you can get the most health benefits from this information.