Understanding Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death of American men and women. Annually, it claims about 600,000 lives. The term cardiovascular disease, often used interchangeably with heart disease and abbreviated as CVD, describes several diseases that affect the health of the heart and blood vessels.
Common Forms of CVD
These types of cardiovascular disease are caused by atherosclerosis, a process that causes the buildup of plaque on walls inside the arteries:
- Heart Attack: The result of blood clots forming and blocking blood flow. As blood flow is limited, the heart’s muscles begin to die, resulting in a heart attack.
- Ischemic Stroke: This common form of stroke occurs when blood clots block blood vessels that supply blood, oxygen, and other nutrients to the brain. As a result of the lack of blood flow and impending stroke, brain cells die.
Non-Atherosclerosis Related CVD
- Arrhythmia: A form of CVD that affects the heart’s ability to beat with normal rhythm. A rhythm that’s too slow, too fast, or irregular can stifle the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively.
- Heart Failure: This CVD results from the body not being able to pump enough blood throughout the body. When this happens, the body’s cells don’t receive the oxygen or nutrients that they need.
Although each form of cardiovascular disease has its own specific symptoms, the following symptoms are common to each type:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat
Luckily, there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. An individual’s cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heredity, and smoking history can help determine CVD risk. Virtual Imaging also offers the EBCT C300 scanner as a method of CVD detection. This device is 10 times more accurate at predicting CVD than observing risk factors. Early detection can greatly increase chances of prevention.
If you’re concerned about your heart’s health, call Virtual Imaging today at (770) 730-0119 and ask about our EBCT imaging technology.