World Health Organisation 2018 global statistics show that an estimated 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular disease annually. This figure adds up to 31% of the major causes of global deaths each year. And finally, the major causes of cardiovascular disease deaths are strokes and heart attacks.
Therefore, the question that should be asked and answered is what should our global, national, corporate response be to reduce these statistics. By way of answering this question, let’s first look at the primary causes of cardiovascular disease. Consequently, let’s look at ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Types and causes of Heart Disease
At this juncture, it is important to note that the following definition of cardiovascular (or heart) disease applies to this article’s context:
“Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke.”
Now that heart’s disease’s frame of reference has been specified, let’s take a look at some of the primary causes of this scourge:
A concise explanation of a congenital heart defect is that it is an abnormality of the heart’s physical structure, and it is usually present at birth. Consequences of a congenital heart disability include reduced, incorrect, or blocked blood flow to, and through the heart. Consequently, resulting in the abnormal or subminimal functioning of the heart and ultimately resulting in death if the defect is not addressed.
Succinctly stated, a heart arrhythmia is an irregular or abnormal heartbeat. In other words, your heart does not beat regularly. This can be caused by both lifestyle choices such as smoking, stress, high-fat diet, and alcohol and drug abuse, as well as medical issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and a birth heart defect.
Cardiomyopathy is essentially the thickening of the heart muscle and is caused by conditions like genetic disposition, ageing, and reduced blood flow to the heart.
Ways to reduce cardiovascular disease
Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes like reduced smoking, improved diet, increased exercise, and reduced alcohol consumption will go a long way towards reducing the risk of heart disease. These lifestyle changes have a chain reaction when implemented together. For example, eating a healthy diet and exercising will reduce weight, stress levels, and result in a lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Additionally, there are medical and surgical options to correct defects such as blocked arteries, high blood pressure, and congenital defects.
Also, it is vital to consult your doctor before you embark on one or more of the lifestyle changes mentioned above or if you are experiencing shortness of breath, pain or any other of the standard heart disease symptoms.
While poor lifestyle choices or birth defects often cause cardiovascular disease, there are situations where heart disease is as a result of poor decisions on behalf of a third-party. Complications from unintentionally caused heart disease often have devastating consequences (like death) for the family of the victim. Thus, in …