CAUSES OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Causesof Cardiovascular diseases
Causesof Cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovasculardiseases are some of the most important health conditions in themodern world. This is due to the high preference of these diseases inthe modern population. The changes in lifestyles and aging populationamong other factors have contributed to the increased cases ofcardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are a group ofdiseases that affect the blood circulation system. This includes thediseases of the heart such a high blood pressure, rheumatic heartdisease, heart attack, coronary heart disease and cognitive heartdisease, among others. They also include diseases that affect theblood vessels in different parts of the body. Cardiovascular diseaseshave attracted a lot of attention in recent past, mainly due to thefact that the heart is a vital organ in the body (Adams Media, 2013).Additionally, some of these diseases are terminal diseases but theircauses are known and preventable. Majority of these diseases areconsidered to be lifestyle diseases and thus up to 90 percent of thecases are preventable. Despite this, cardiovascular diseases are theleading causes of death in the world today, accounting for over 17million deaths annually as at 2013. Studies have identified severalcauses or risk factors that predispose individuals to cardiovasculardiseases (Adams Media, 2013). The main causes of cardiovasculardiseases include old age, unhealthy lifestyles and sex/gender. On theother hand, the main effects of cardiovascular diseases are economicburdens at the family and society level.
Formany years, cardiovascular diseases have been associated with oldage. Old age is considered to be one of the most important causes ofcardiovascular diseases. Studies estimate that the risk ofcardiovascular diseases increases by up to three times per a decadeof life. As a result, majority of the people suffering from a widerange of heart diseases are aged above 65 years of age. There areseveral explanations that have been used to link age andcardiovascular diseases (Bridget et al, 2010). Modern studies havesuggested that the cholesterol level in a human body increases withage. Since the serum cholesterol levels are strongly linked to highrisk of cardiovascular diseases, the risk increases with age.Additionally, aging results into structural and mechanical changes inthe vascular wall of the circulatory system and the heart. This leadsto loss of some of the properties such as elasticity giving rise to awide range of cardiovascular diseases (Bridget et al, 2010).
Cardiovasculardiseases are classified as lifestyle diseases. This is because thelifestyle of an individual have up to 90 percent influence on thelikelihood of developing the condition. This includes poor diet,overconsumption of alcohol and tobacco and lack of physical exercise.Overindulgence in alcohol and poor diet is also major contributors tothe increased preference of cardiovascular diseases. One of the mostimportant risk factor is the relationship between alcohol consumptionand the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have linked highalcohol consumption to increased risk of heart diseases. Excessiveconsumption of alcohol is also liked to other terminal diseases. Onthe other hand, mild drinking of alcohol can significantly reduce therisk of heart diseases. It is also estimated that about 10 percent ofall cardiovascular diseases in the modern world are as a result oftobacco smoke (Bridget et al, 2010). Inadequate physical activity hasbeen identified as one of the lifestyle factor that significantlyincreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Statistics indicatesthat lack of enough physical activity is among the leading riskfactors that result into deadly condition in the modern world. It isestimated that due to the changes in lifestyle, almost a third of thepopulation in the modern world have insufficient physical activity.Lack of sufficient physical activity is one of the leading causes ofobesity and thus heart diseases (Adams Media, 2013). The unhealthydiet is also a major cause of cardiovascular diseases. Unbalanceddiet with high concentration of saturated fats, salts and artificialadditives and low concentration of fruits, vegetables and unsaturatedfats increases the risk of heart diseases. The World HealthOrganization estimated that over 1.7 million preventable deaths peryear are as a result of unhealthy diet. Overindulgence in highlyprocessed foods and junk foods with high levels of salts, sugars,artificial favors and fats increase the risk of a wide range ofterminal diseases, among them cardiovascular diseases. Saturated andtrans-fats in the diet have a negative impact on the blood lipidsaltering the optimum cholesterol levels. High sugars and dietary saltintakes increase the risk of high blood pressure (Wang et al, 2014).
Statisticsindicates that cardiovascular diseases are more common in men thatwomen. Thus sex has been identified as a risk factor in thedevelopment of terminal heart diseases. The low risk in women hasbeen observed in pre menopausal women. After menopause, the risk issimilar to that in men. However, it is important to note that somestudies have refuted the arguments (Bridget et al, 2010). Accordingto a report by the World Health Organization, sex has up to fortypercent influence on the risk of heart diseases. This was after itwas established that middle aged men are at a higher risk of coronaryheart diseases compared to women. The main explanation of the genderdisparity has been linked to the hormonal difference between men andwomen. Estrogen, the predominant hormone in pre menopause women hasprotective properties by regulating the homeostatic system as well asglucose metabolism. Also, the body structure of a man and woman arevery different with variations in body shape and distribution of bodyfat. This has also been used to explain the high risk factors inmiddle aged men (Bridget et al, 2010).
Cardiovasculardiseases have evolved into some of the most important health issuesin the modern world. With the increased cost of health care servicesand financial problems facing the health care system, increased casesof cardiovascular diseases and the resultant death has huge economiceffects at the family and the society level. Cardiovascular diseasesresults into hospitalization and other short term medical expenses.When a large number of people are faced with this problem, it becomesa big burden to the health care system. At the family level, theindividual becomes a less productive member of the society andultimately a dependant. The cost of medical care also depletes thefamily savings, which has long term economic effects on the family.Additionally, the patient becomes less productive in the economy(Bridget, 2010).
AdamsMedia (2013). Heart disease: heart disease risk factors: the mostimportant information you need to improve your health. Avon, MA:Adams Media.
BridgetB. K. et al (2010). Promoting Cardiovascular Health in theDeveloping World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health.Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.
Wang,X Ouyang, Y Liu, J Zhu, M Zhao, G Bao, W Hu, FB (2014). "Fruitand vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes,cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review anddose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” BMJ(Clinical research ed.) 349: g4490.