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Health 1020
November 9, 2016
Cardiovascular Disease

There are many different types of Cardiovascular disease or, heart disease, in the

world and there are many different causes to this disease. A few types of heart disease include
coronary artery disease, a heart attack, angina, heart failure and many more. According to The
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, 610,000 people die of a heart disease
every year in the U.S. Even though heart disease does have a lot to do with a persons family
history, your lifestyle and age are also big factors in getting a heart disease. So, how do we
prevent this disease? Until definitive studies are complete, many scientists recommend that
we consume a total of at least five servings of a combination of fruits and vegetables per day as
part of an overall effort to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (Wardlaw 339).

Coronary Artery Disease, also known as CAD, is the most common type of heart disease.

CAD is caused by plaque built up in a persons arteries. When enough plaque builds up in the
arteries, the arteries start to narrow which then stops blood flow and becomes dangerous.
Plaque buildup can be prevented by just a few simple things. Smoking is a huge cause of plaque
buildup as well as high alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, excess weight and high blood
sugar. The type of food that a person eats also plays a role in preventing this disease. Eating
foods that are high in saturated fats like, butter, ice cream and whole milk as well as cake,
cookies and processed foods which are high trans-fat foods. Just by simply eating healthier,
you can help prevent getting CAD. Diagnosing CAD is easy for doctors to do. They simply look

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at your familys health history, look at your weight and how much you exercise, and can also
perform a series of tests to find out if a person has or is at risk of having CAD.

Another type of cardiovascular disease is a heart attack, which is caused by the stopping

or blocking of blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscles. Heart attacks are most
common among males who are over the age of 65. The American Heart Association states,
Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life.
Even after menopause, when womens death rate from heart disease increases, its not as great
as mens. As I was doing research on heart attacks, I found this to be very interesting because
yet, not surprising. Like CAD, a lot of the same things that cause that disease can also cause a
heart attack, the main one being smoking. Throughout most of my research, the one thing that
was very common in everything I read was how smoking plays a big role in all heart diseases. I
think that if nobody ever smoked again, not only would people be healthier, but I believe there
would be a major decrease in the amount of heart problems in the world.

Angina is another type of cardiovascular disease and is a symptom of CAD. Angina is not

a major heart disease like coronary artery disease but it is still important to know about. I
personally have experienced Angina a few times in my life when I was very active and playing
sports. Angina can be described as squeezing, tightness, pressure or pain in a persons chest. A
few years ago, I experienced this while I was playing basketball. Every time I was active and
playing basketball my chest would start to feel very tight and it was very hard for me to breathe
and to keep playing. When this happened, I sat down and took slow breaths to try and calm

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down. Usually after about five to ten minutes the pain went away and I was fine. There are
two main types of Angina, stable and unstable. Stable Angina is usually caused by physical
activity because when you exercise your heart demands more blood. Angina occurs when the
heart cant access enough blood due to narrowed arteries. I found this out when I was
experiencing Angina myself and it was very scary to me. It made me be more careful of what I
put into my body, especially before exercising. Unstable Angina is when you form blood clots
due to plaque buildup and usually doesnt go away with common Angina medications.
Unstable Angina can also possibly lead to a heart attack so medical attention would be
important when experiencing this type of Angina.

Heart Failure is yet another type of cardiovascular disease in which the heart cannot

pump enough blood for the body. This type of heart disease can be caused by coronary artery
disease which is a major type of heart disease. Heart failure is usually only found in people age
65 and older, it is very common is African Americans, and people who are overweight or have
already had a heart attack in their life. It makes sense for heart failure to be more common is
older people, people who are overweight and for someone who has already experienced some
heart problems. What surprised me was the fact that it is more common in African Americans,
so I did more research on this topic specifically to find out why. African Americans are more
likely to experience heart failure due to high blood pressure and diabetes being more common
in African Americans than any other ethnic group. Doctors can determine if you have heart
failure by doing a simple physical exam or hearts tests. Heart failure can be treated by simple

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medicines but if worst comes to worst then a heart transplant may be in order. Some people
may think that heart failure means your heart is no longer good and it has stopped working. It
doesnt mean that at all. All it means is that your heart is struggling to provide enough blood to
your whole body so it needs help to do so.
Cardiovascular disease usually affects people who are older, not young children. But
early signs of heart diseases are becoming more popular between young children and
adolescents so better to be safe than sorry, right? The American Academy of Pediatrics now
recommends universal blood lipid screening for all children around ages 9-11 and even earlier
screening for at risk children, who are overweight, have high blood pressure, smoke or have
diabetes; have a family history of cardiovascular disease; or whose family history is unknown
(Wardlaw 683). Heart disease being detected at a young age can be a good thing or a bad
thing, depending on how a person looks at it. If doctors can find a disease, early symptoms or
even small warning signs that someone is possibly at risk for having any kind of heart disease
than they can work on finding a way to cure it or even prevent it. The bad thing about finding a
disease early would be the risk of trying to cure it and having something go wrong at such a
young age. If the heart disease is not found until an older age, it is still awful but at least the
person is older and has lived somewhat of a life compared to a ten-year-old finding out. If its
not life threatening I think its better to not find a disease until later in a persons life.
Dr. Dwight Lundell said, We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority
often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here

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it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having
performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical
and scientific fact. I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled "opinion
makers." Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we
opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood
cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a
diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol
and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could
quite possibly result in malpractice ( par 1). Even though Dr. Lundell admitted to
being wrong about what exactly causes heart failure, I think the factors like smoking, and
obesity still play a role in causing heart disease.
Dr. Lundell also said, What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served
and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By
eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food,
you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming
the typical American diet ( par 29). High blood pressure and high cholesterol are
what he believes to be the main causes of any heart diseases. So Lundell is suggesting people
just eat healthier. If only it was that simple, right? Eating healthy is hard to do sometimes
especially when fast food is right at our fingertips. I think that if fast food were made just a
little bit healthier or came up with fast food restaurants that were healthy places to eat, then

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maybe people would start to eat healthier. The long-term effect of this is that heart diseases
may decrease. Even if it is by the smallest percent, a little is better than nothing. As much as I
do agree with Dr. Lundell I think he almost makes his solution too easy and it is not very
AHAs Heart Failure Ambassadors is a website filled with some personal stories of
people that have had heart diseases and the stories of their journeys. Mike OMeara suffered
from heart failure back in 2013, and his story talks about how his road to recovery included a
few lifestyle changes. I think heart disease betters your life in a way. When someone finds out
that they have a heart disease it is a wake-up call for them. Knowing that you have a disease
that could potentially end your life is scary. I think it makes people stop and think about their
lifestyle and make the changes that they need to make to better their life. Both of my
Grandfathers had heart problems a few years back. For the most part their lifestyles were
decent and their eating habits werent terrible, but of course they could have been better Im
sure. Both of my Grandpas ended up needing a quadruple bypass surgery to fix their arteries
and make them stronger. After their surgery, my grandpas both changed their eating habits
and how they lived their life. I am honestly grateful in a way that they went through what they
did because now they are healthier.
So, as you can see there are many different types of Cardiovascular diseases. Some are
obviously worse than others but there are ways to prevent and cure them all. Through my
research I have realized that preventing diseases like these are simpler than people think. Ive
also learned how these diseases are caused and what risk factors to look for. I hope that more

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people can realize the importance of this disease and do their best to prevent to the number of
deaths due to this disease can majorly decrease.

Works Cited
Wardlaw, Gordon M. Health 1020 Foundations of Nutrition textbook