Cardiovascular Disease Types
Lack of blood flow to the brain from a blood clot, or bleeding in the brain from a broken blood vessel, causes a stroke. Without a good blood supply, brain cells cannot get enough oxygen and begin to die. You can also have what is sometimes called a "mini-stroke," or transient ischemic attack (TIA), where no damage is done to the brain. Even though they do no damage, TIAs are serious and can put you at greater risk of having a full stroke. Risk factors for stroke include:
High Blood Pressure
There are ways to measure blood pressure and several medications to lower it if it is too high. A blood pressure reading measures the force of blood pumped from the heart against the walls of your blood vessels. It is recorded as two numbers: a top number of systolic pressure (the pressure of blood in the vessels as the heart beats), and a bottom number of diastolic pressure (the pressure of the blood between heartbeats, when the heart rests).
Although the average blood pressure reading for adults is 120/80, a slightly higher or lower reading (for either number) may not be a problem. High blood pressure is diagnosed when the reading consistently exceeds 140/90. High blood pressure is often called a "silent" killer because it usually has no signs or symptoms. High blood pressure can cause heart failure and can also lead to:
- Kidney failure
- Other health problems.
Talk to your healthcare provider and get your blood pressure monitored regularly. If you have high blood pressure, diet, exercise, and medicine can help you in lowering it.
Heart failure means that the heart is not able to pump blood through the body as well as it should. It does not mean that the heart literally stops. Heart failure develops slowly over time and can have a large impact on a person's life and ability to perform daily activities of living, such as dressing, bathing, and getting around.
Congestive heart failure is a term often used to describe heart failure. Congestion, or the buildup of fluid, is only one symptom of heart failure and does not occur in all people who have heart failure. There are two main categories of heart failure: systolic and diastolic. Within each category of heart failure, the symptoms vary from person to person.
Systolic heart failure happens when the heart's ability to pump blood decreases. The heart cannot push enough blood into the circulatory system, which causes the blood coming into the heart from the lungs to back up and leak fluid into the lungs (called pulmonary congestion). Diastolic heart failure occurs when the heart has trouble relaxing or resting. The heart muscle becomes stiff and cannot fill with blood, causing lung congestion and other areas of fluid buildup (most often in the feet, ankles, and legs). Talk with your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the signs of heart failure. There are drugs that can treat heart failure. Having a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can lower your risk for heart failure.