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Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the heart and blood vessels-are the leading cause  of the death in the United States. About one person in five  has some form of cardiovascular disease. Heart attacks are the main cause of cardiovascular deaths. A heart attack occurs when some area of the heart muscle does not receive enough blood. Sometimes a blood clot forms in the blood vessels of the heart, causing a heart attack. The clot blocks the passage of blood through those vessels, so blood does not reach a portion of the heart muscle. Heart attacks also may result if a vessel is blocked by deposits of materials. If the damaged area of the heart is fairly small, recovery can occur in the manner. Sometimes the amount of damage is slight and thus difficult to detect. Because they reveal abnormalities in the timing of the heart contractions, electrocardiograms are useful for evaluating the overall condition of the heart.
Abnormalities in the timing of heart contractions may be associated with damaged heart tissue. Strokes are caused by an interference with the blood supply to the brain. They often occur when a blocked vessel burst in the brain. Strokes also may be associated with a blood clot or a coagulation of other materials in the blood vessel. The overall effects of a stroke depend on how severe the brain damage is and where the stroke occurs in the brain.
Atherosclerosis, which often is a factor in heart attacks and strokes, is a building of deposits within the arteries. The accumulation of fatty materials and deposits of cholesterol or other cellular debris within the arteries can impair the proper function of the arteries. When this condition is serves , the arteries can no longer expand and contract properly. The accumulation of cholesterol is thought to be the prime contributor to atherosclerosis. Diets low in cholesterol  frequently are prescribed for this condition.
Arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, occur when calcium is deposited in arterial walls. This usually occurs when atherosclerosis occur, the flow of blood through the arteries is restricted, and the arteries cannot expand enough to handle the volume of blood pumped out by the heart. Thus the heart must work harder.

At least three factors are linked to cardiovascular disease; smoking , high blood pressure , and high blood cholesterol. The current advice for reducing cardiovascular risk is simple : Do not smoke ; have your blood pressure checked and regulated, if necessary ; and follow a diet that lowers the levels of cholesterol in your blood. Finally try to be aware of new information as it becomes available. Research on nutrition and cardiovascular disease is very active and new data often result in changed dietary and activity recommendations. Look for valid reports based on controlled experiments and avoid popularized claims of quick fixes and miracle remedies.
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