Because more than 70 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure and heart disease), cardiovascular health is a highly relevant issue today. Learning about your risk factors and doing something about them can lower your chances of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease. You can improve your health by exercising, eating a heart-healthy diet, and not smoking.
The cardiovascular system is a complex system that consists of the heart ("cardio") and blood vessels ("vascular"). Through this system, every part of the body is able to get oxygen and other vital nutrients while also getting rid of waste products. This allows us to do everything within our daily lives. For most of us, we take the cardiovascular system for granted until something goes wrong.
There are more than 60 types of diseases that can affect the cardiovascular system. These are known as cardiovascular diseases. For a number of these diseases, there is nothing we can do to prevent them from occurring; however, for the most common types, there is a lot that we can do. This is where cardiovascular health comes in. In most cases, these common conditions are preventable. By learning about cardiovascular health and doing something about it, people can lower their chances of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease.
Good cardiovascular health begins by:
- Understanding the cardiovascular system and diseases that can affect it
- Learning the risk factors for preventable cardiovascular diseases
- Learning the risk factors that apply to you
- Doing something about the risks you can modify.