Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are one of the leading killer diseases in the world, posing a medical threat to both the young and the old. In the United States alone, more than eighty million people suffer from a form of cardiovascular disease, with a mortality rate of one million people every year. This translates to 42 percent of all the deaths that occur, higher than the deaths caused by the other five leading killer diseases when combined. There are several forms of the disease, and the most prevalent of them is hypertension, also known as high-blood pressure. Other types include stroke, coronary heart disease, congenital cardiovascular defects and rheumatic heart disease.
The statistics on CVD are a clear indication that it is a problem that requires a national attention while dealing with the sick, helping to prevent further infections and educating the masses about the disease. Since everybody is at risk, there is a need to create more awareness and also work harder to ensure that more people will adopt a healthy lifestyle that does not put them at risk. My interest in this topic is due to the high need to understand the predisposing factors so that people will adopt healthy lifestyles. In this paper, I review various writing on how CVD’s can be prevented.
Although it would be difficult to eliminate cardiovascular diseases, it is possible to reduce the infections as well reduce the deaths that are caused by these diseases. Understanding how the diseases develop is a crucial part to getting to know how to prevent new infections and consequently reduce deaths. According to Suri and Tincey (2010), the development and progression of a disease can be easily controlled simply by doing an in-depth analysis of how the disease is acquired, then taking actions to prevent it. This is how diseases like the cardiovascular diseases can be monitored.
The causes for cardiovascular disease are numerous. Wang (2006) states that a person who has a history of CVD like hypertension is at higher risk of developing the same complication again. This may also be linked to family history, where diseases like high-blood pressure may end up being more prevalent in one family than another. This means that a person who has close relatives with the disease needs to watch out for early warning signs. If there are cases of cardiovascular diseases within a family tree, any member of the family should be take precautionary measures by having a regular medical check up.
Poor nutrition almost takes all the blame for cardiovascular diseases. According to Saha and Gerdham (2010), many of the cardiovascular related illnesses can be attributed to poor dietary choice, where fast and junk foods have taken prominence over healthy dietary habits. It seems to be true that the dietary habits can contribute to this problem since as it is documented by the McCabe & Schneidermann (2006), the period when increase in consumption of junk foods and obesity increased, there was a corresponding increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. This interrelation between diet and cardiovascular disease can provide a helpful link on one of the most fundamental way of controlling these diseases.
There are behavioural activities that also raise the risks for one suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Suri and Tincey (2010) have listed these habits to include smoking of cigarette and lack of physical activity. Smoking has a myriad of health problems that accompany it, while lack of physical exercise is disastrous especially when accompanied by poor dietary habits. This is quite proven by research done by Fifth World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, which established that people who had terrible eating habits, like high consumption of cholesterol were at a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. However, if these people were exceedingly much physically active, the risk is far much less. The implication of this is that being physically active will help to make one to be healthy. Unfortunately, the American society is currently faced by the problem of less physical exercise and increased food intake.
Other predisposing factors include stress and environmental pollution (McCabe & Schneinermann, 2006). Unfortunately, stress is a leading problem in the current society, hence further complicating the problem. Environmental pollution is also a problem of concern in main cities, but this is even more problematic in countries like China, which have large emissions from their factories.
The predisposing factors for several cardiovascular diseases are almost similar. This means that measures to combat the disease are almost identical. Saha and Gerdham (2010) argue that the economic evaluation of lifestyle would be the first step that can be used to combat cardiovascular disease. These diseases are mainly lifestyle related, and with proper adjustment, one can be in a position to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This could be the reason why these diseases are less prevalent in Africa than in other continents of the world. Africa does not suffer from the problem of excessive nutrition or adverse environmental pollution.
“Many people in Africa do not have a problem with obesity, due to scarcity of food. Consequently, diseases that are associated with over nutrition are rare. In the cases where people engage in unhealthy lifestyle like eating of junk food, they end up doing a lot of manual work, which ensure that they remain fit.”
Form the analysis above, it seems that most ways of preventing cardiovascular diseases can be tackled through personal initiative. This simply calls for individuals to act and take decisive action to keep themselves safe. However, how comes that almost a quarter of the Americans are suffering from a form of cardiovascular diseases, when the solution seems to be so easy? If people can just control their eating habits, exercise programs, and also avoiding high stress factors, it should be easy to manage the cardiovascular diseases. The reason why this is not so is because people lack the self-control that is required to control these habits, and therefore, must be assisted to overcome these barriers (Krishman et al 2010).
Cardiovascular diseases today stand to be one of the greatest health problems that America and the world are facing. However, controlling it become a serious problem and now is the time when effective and stringent measures should be put forward to overcome this problem. There is an unusually substantial need to concentrate on dealing with these factors, rather than trying to heal the disease when they have already occurred. It is possible that the current high prevalence rate can be significantly reduced.
Fifth World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Cardiology in the
Young, 20 (1), 1-422
Krishman, A., Yadav, K. & Kumar, R. (2010). Epidemiology to Public Health Intervention
for Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases: The role of translational research. Indian
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McCabe, M., Schneidermann, N., & Field, Tiffany. (2006). Stress, coping, and
cardiovascular disease. New Jersey: NJ, L. Erlbaum Associates
Saha, S. & Gerdtham, U. (2010). Economic evaluation of lifestyle interventions for
preventing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health, 7 (8), 3150-3195
Suri, A. & Tincey, S. (2010). Cardiovascular disease. Practice Nurse, 40 (9), 44-49
Wang, Q. (2006). Cardiovascular Disease: Methods and Protocols. New York: NY, Humana