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Cardiovascular Diseases

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Click image to enlarge An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the abdominal aorta (the largest artery in the body) resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50% of the vessel's normal diameter (width). The aorta extends upward from the top of the left ventricle of the heart in the chest area (ascending thoracic aorta), then curves like a candy cane (aortic arc...
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Click image to enlarge An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the abdominal aorta (the largest artery in the body) resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50% of the vessel's normal diameter (width). The aorta extends upward from the top of the left ventricle of the heart in the chest area (ascending thoracic aorta), then curves like a candy cane (aortic arc...
Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries
Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries Click image to enlarge Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. Like all other tissues in the body, the heart muscle needs oxygen-rich blood to function. Also, oxygen-depleted blood must be carried away. The coronary arteries wrap around the outside of the heart. Small branches dive into the heart muscle to bring it blood. What are the different coronary arteries? The 2 main coronary arteries are the left main and right coronary arteries. Left mai...
Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves
Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves Click Image to Enlarge What are heart valves? The heart consists of four chambers, two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). There is a valve through which blood passes before leaving each chamber of the heart. The valves prevent the backward flow of blood. These valves are actual flaps that are located on each end of the two ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). They act as one-way inlets of blood on one side of a ventricle and one-way ...
Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves
Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves What are heart valves? The heart consists of 4 chambers, 2 atria (upper chambers) and 2 ventricles (lower chambers). Blood passes through a valve before leaving each chamber of the heart. The valves prevent the backward flow of blood. Valves are actually flaps (leaflets) that act as one-way inlets for blood coming into a ventricle and one-way outlets for blood leaving a ventricle. Normal valves have 3 flaps (leaflets), except the mitral valve, which only has 2 fl...
Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System
Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System Click image to enlarge The heart's electrical system In the simplest terms, the heart is a pump made up of muscle tissue. Like all muscle, the heart needs a source of energy and oxygen to function. The heart's pumping action is regulated by an electrical conduction system that coordinates the contraction of the various chambers of the heart. How does the heart beat? An electrical stimulus is generated by the sinus node (also called the sinoatrial nod...
Aneurysm
Aneurysm What is an aneurysm? An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel. An aneurysm may occur in any blood vessel, but most often develops in an artery rather than a vein. An aneurysm can be characterized by its location, shape, and cause. An aneurysm may be located in many areas of the body, such as blood vessels of the brain (cerebral aneurysm), the aorta (the largest artery in the body), the neck, the intestines, the kidney, the spleen, and the vessels in the legs (iliac,...
Angina Pectoris
Angina Pectoris What is angina pectoris? Angina pectoris (or simply angina) is recurring chest pain or discomfort that happens when some part of your heart does not get enough blood and oxygen. Angina can be a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD). This occurs when arteries that carry blood to your heart become narrowed and blocked due to atherosclerosis or a blood clot. It can also occur due to unstable plaques, poor blood flow through a narrowed heart valve, a decreased pumping function of the hear...
Arrhythmias
Arrhythmias What is an arrhythmia? An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm. Some arrhythmias can cause problems with contractions of your heart chambers by: Not allowing the lower chambers (ventricles) to fill with enough blood, because an abnormal electrical signal is causing your heart to pump too fast or too slow. Not allowing enough blood to be pumped out to your body, because an abnormal electrical signal is causing your heart to pump too slowly or too irregularly. Not allowing the top chambers (...
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis What is atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis thickening or hardening of the arteries. It is caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. Click to expand Plaque is made up of deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin. As it builds up in the arteries, the artery walls become thickened and stiff. Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may start as early as childhood. However, it can progress rapidly. What causes ather...
Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial Fibrillation What is atrial fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a kind of abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. Normally, a specific group of cells begin the signal to start your heartbeat. These cells are in the sinoatrial (SA) node. This node is in the right atrium, the upper right chamber of the heart. The signal quickly travels down the heart’s conducting system. It travels to the left and right ventricle, the 2 lower chambers of the heart. As it travels, the signal triggers the cha...
Basic Anatomy of the Heart
Basic Anatomy of the Heart Click image to enlarge About the heart The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body. Located almost in the center of the chest, the adult human heart is about the size of a fist. At an average rate of 80 times a minute, the heart beats about 115,000 times in one day, or about 42 million times in a year. In a 70-year lifetime, an average human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times. Even when a person is at rest, the heart continuously works hard. The average ...
Calculating Calories and Fat Grams
Calculating Calories and Fat Grams To determine the number of calories and fat grams you need each day in order to either lose, maintain or gain weight, your health care provider or a registered dietitian. As a general guideline, to maintain your current weight, follow the 3-step formula below. Remember, everyone's body and metabolism are different, so these numbers could vary slightly for you. 1. Determine your estimated calorie needs in the chart below: Physical Activity Level Gender Age (years) Inact...
Cardiac Conditions and Diseases
Cardiac Conditions and Diseases Many cardiac conditions require clinical care by a physician or other heart care professional. Listed in the directory below are some of these conditions, for which we have provided a brief overview. Angina Pectoris Arrhythmias Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) Overview of Pacemaker and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) Living With a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemake...
Cardiac Diagnostic Tests
Cardiac Diagnostic Tests New tests are constantly being developed to further the understanding of disease, injury, and congenital (present at birth) or acquired abnormalities of the heart. These are just a few of the tests that have been used to diagnose heart and blood vessel disease (cardiovascular). For more information, talk to your cardiologist or other healthcare provider: Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias), and can...
Cardiac Procedures
Cardiac Procedures These procedures are used to evaluate and treat heart and blood vessel disease (cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease). Talk to your doctor or heart care professional for more specific information. Procedures for abnormal heart rhythms Catheter ablation. This procedure uses radio waves or freezing to silence an abnormal area in the heart's electrical system, which is usually found during an electrophysiology study. This procedure can break a problematic electrical circuit ...
Cardiac Rehabilitation
Cardiac Rehabilitation What is cardiac rehabilitation? A cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet your needs. Cardiac rehabilitation is a program to help people who have heart disease. It is overseen by a health care provider. People in this program may have had a heart attack or heart surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation can often help you get better at your daily tasks. It may ease your symptoms and give you a sense of well-being. Who can be helped by cardiac rehabilitation? You may be helped by ...
Cardiac Sarcoma
Cardiac Sarcoma What is cardiac sarcoma? Cardiac sarcoma is a rare type of tumor that occurs in the heart. Cardiac sarcoma is a primary malignant (cancerous) cardiac tumor. Tumors are considered to be either primary tumors or secondary tumors. A primary cardiac tumor is one that starts in the heart. A secondary cardiac tumor starts somewhere else in the body and then spreads to the heart. In general, primary tumors of the heart are rare, and most are benign (noncancerous). What are the symptoms of cardi...
Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy What is cardiomyopathy? Cardiomyopathy describes any disorder that affects the heart muscle, causing the heart to lose its ability to pump blood effectively. In some instances, the heart rhythm also becomes disturbed and leads to arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). There may be multiple causes of cardiomyopathy, including viral infections and certain medications. Often, the exact cause of the muscle disease is never found. How does cardiomyopathy differ from other heart disorders? Cardiom...
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention It is possible to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease - by eliminating the risk factors you can control, and managing the risk factors you cannot control. Below you will find more information on making appropriate lifestyle changes that will help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Preventing Cardiovascular Disease Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Diet and Cardiovascular Disease Components of Food Cholesterol in the Blood Calculating Calories and Fat ...
Cardiovascular Disease Statistics
Cardiovascular Disease Statistics Each year, heart disease is at the top of the list of the country's most serious health problems. In fact, statistics show that cardiovascular disease is America's leading health problem, and the leading cause of death. Consider the most recent statistics released by the American Heart Association: Approximately 84 million people in this country suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease, causing about 2,200 deaths a day, averaging one death every 40 seconds. Almos...
Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid Artery Disease What is carotid artery disease? The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain. When these arteries become narrowed, it’s called carotid artery disease. It may also be called carotid artery stenosis. The narrowing is caused by atherosclerosis. This is the buildup of fatty substances, calcium, and other waste products inside the artery lining. Carotid artery disease is similar to coronary artery disease, in which buildup occurs in the arter...
Cerebral Aneurysm
Cerebral Aneurysm What is a cerebral aneurysm? A cerebral aneurysm (also called an intracranial aneurysm or brain aneurysm) is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of an artery in the brain, resulting in an abnormal ballooning of the artery that is at risk for rupturing. A cerebral aneurysm more frequently occurs in an artery located in the front part of the brain that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain tissue. Arteries anywhere in the brain can develop aneurysms. A normal artery wall is made up of...
Cholesterol in the Blood
Cholesterol in the Blood Facts about cholesterol Click image to enlarge Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance that can be found in all parts of your body. It helps your body make cell membranes, many hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: the foods you eat and your liver. But your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs. Cholesterol and other fats are carried in your bloodstream as spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known li...
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic Venous Insufficiency What is chronic venous insufficiency? Click Image to Enlarge Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when your leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart. Normally, the valves in your veins make sure that blood flows toward your heart. But when these valves don’t work well, blood can also flow backwards. This can cause blood to collect (pool) in your legs. If this condition is not treated, you may have: Pain Swelling Cramps Skin changes Varicose veins Leg ulcers C...
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic Venous Insufficiency What is chronic venous insufficiency? Click Image to Enlarge Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when your leg veins don’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart. Normally, the valves in your veins make sure that blood flows toward your heart. But when these valves don’t work well, blood can also flow backwards. This can cause blood to collect (pool) in your legs. If this condition is not treated, you may have: Pain Swelling Cramps Skin changes Varicose veins Leg ulcers C...
Claudication
Claudication What is claudication? Claudication is pain in your thigh, calf, or buttocks that happens when you walk. It can make you limp. It may be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is when narrowed or blocked arteries reduce the blood flow to your legs. At first, claudication pain occurs when you walk a certain distance and goes away when you rest. But as the disease gets worse, the pain can occur when you walk shorter distances. Over time, you may no longer be able to walk because th...
Claudication
Claudication What is claudication? Claudication is pain in your thigh, calf, or buttocks that happens when you walk. It can make you limp. It may be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is when narrowed or blocked arteries reduce the blood flow to your legs. At first, claudication pain occurs when you walk a certain distance and goes away when you rest. But as the disease gets worse, the pain can occur when you walk shorter distances. Over time, you may no longer be able to walk because th...
Components of Food
Components of Food If you are trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it's helpful to know some basics about nutrition, starting with the components of food. Facts about calories You need enough calories to give you energy, but no more than you can burn off. This is called an energy balance. If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. If you balance the two, you maintain your weight. Even when you are...
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital Heart Defects What is a congenital heart defect? When the heart or blood vessels near the heart do not develop normally before birth, a condition called congenital heart defect occurs (congenital means "existing at birth"). Congenital heart defects occur in close to 1% of infants. Most young people with congenital heart defects are living into adulthood now. In most cases, the cause is unknown. Sometimes a viral infection in the mother causes the condition. The condition can be genetic (hered...
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease What are the coronary arteries? Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. Like all other tissues in the body, the heart muscle needs oxygen-rich blood to function, and oxygen-depleted blood must be carried away. The coronary arteries run along the outside of the heart and have small branches that supply blood to the heart muscle. What are the different coronary arteries? Click image to enlarge The 2 main coronary arteries are the left main and right coronary arteries. Le...
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease What are the coronary arteries? Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. Like all other tissues in the body, the heart muscle needs oxygen-rich blood to function, and oxygen-depleted blood must be carried away. The coronary arteries run along the outside of the heart and have small branches that supply blood to the heart muscle. What are the different coronary arteries? Click image to enlarge The 2 main coronary arteries are the left main and right coronary arteries. Le...
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Click Image to Enlarge The term venous thromboembolism (VTE) is used to describe two conditions, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) . This term is used because the two conditions are very closely related. And, because their prevention and treatment are also closely related. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot or thrombus in a deep vein. They are most common in the leg. But they may develop in the arm or other part of the body. Part of the clot, called an e...
Designing an Exercise Program
Designing an Exercise Program How to design an exercise program Exercise is essential for maintaining your health. It can also improve your overall sense of well-being. Even low-to-moderate intensity activities, for as little as 30 minutes a day, can be beneficial. These activities may include: Pleasure walking Climbing stairs Gardening Yard work Moderate-to-heavy housework Dancing Home exercise However, more vigorous aerobic activities are best for improving the fitness of your heart and lungs. These a...
Determining Your Body Mass Index
Determining Your Body Mass Index (BMI) What is body mass index? Determining how much you should weigh is not a simple matter of looking at a height-weight chart, but includes considering the amount of bone, muscle, and fat in your body's composition. The amount of fat is the critical measurement. A good indicator of how much fat you carry is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Although it is not a perfect measure, it gives a fairly accurate assessment of how much of your body is composed of fat. Calculate your B...
Diet to Help Prevent Heart Disease
Diet to Help Prevent Heart Disease You probably know that a healthy diet is important. Eating right can help prevent a number of problems such as high cholesterol and heart disease. But knowing exactly what a healthy diet looks like can be a challenge. The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health teamed up to create an easy way to build a healthy diet for yourself. It’s called MyPlate. It uses a simple graphic to help you make healthy food choices to lower your risk for heart disease, as well as cancer, d...
Effects of Stroke
Effects of Stroke What are the effects of stroke? The effects of stroke vary from person to person based on the type, severity, location, and number of strokes. The brain is very complex. Each area of the brain is responsible for a special function or ability. When an area of the brain is damaged from a stroke, the loss of normal function of part of the body may occur. This may result in a disability. The brain is divided into 3 main areas: Cerebrum (consisting of the right and left sides or hemispheres...
Evaluation Procedures for Stroke
Evaluation Procedures for Stroke How is stroke diagnosed? In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for stroke may include the following. Imaging tests of the brain Preparing for a CT Scan Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the...
Exercise: Before Starting an Exercise Program
Exercise: Before Starting an Exercise Program Starting a daily exercise program It is always important to talk to your health care provider before starting an exercise program. This is especially true if any of the following apply to you: Diabetes Chest pain or pain in the neck and/or arm Shortness of breath A diagnosed heart condition Joint and/or bone problems Currently taking cardiac and/or blood pressure medications Have not previously been physically active Dizziness Obesity When beginning an exerc...
Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)
Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) Do cell phones interfere with pacemakers or ICDs? Cell phones available in the U.S. (less than 3 watts) do not appear to interfere with or damage pacemakers. However, it's best to avoid keeping your cell phone in your breast pocket on the side of the device. And, use the phone on the opposite ear, as well. Do pacemakers or ICDs need to be adjusted periodically? Some devices may need to be adjusted if your medi...
Gastric Restrictive Surgery
Gastric Restrictive Surgery What is gastric restrictive surgery? Gastric restrictive surgery is a type of bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. It limits the amount of food you can eat. This surgery may be used to treat severe obesity when diet, exercise, and medicine have failed. In gastric restrictive procedures, the normal digestive process stays intact. None of the gastrointestinal tract is bypassed. There are two types of operations: One separates the stomach into two parts. One is a very small...
Heart Failure
Heart Failure What is heart failure? The heart is a muscle that pumps oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. When you have heart failure, the heart is not able to pump as well as it should. Blood and fluid may back up into the lungs (congestive heart failure), and some parts of the body don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood to work normally. These problems lead to the symptoms of heart failure. What causes heart failure? Heart failure may result from any or all of the following: Heart valve disease ca...
Heart Murmurs
Heart Murmurs What causes a heart murmur? Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including: Defective heart valves Holes in the walls of your heart (atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect) Pregnancy (increased blood volume) Fever Anemia (a decrease in the red cells in the blood) What are the different types of murmurs? All murmurs are analyzed for pitch, frequency, and duration. They are also graded according to how loud they are (on a scale of 1 to 6 with 1 being ver...
Heart Valve Diseases
Heart Valve Diseases What are heart valves? The heart consists of 4 chambers--2 atria (upper chambers) and 2 ventricles (lower chambers). Blood passes through a valve as it leaves each chamber of the heart. The valves prevent the backward flow of blood. They act as one-way inlets of blood on one side of a ventricle and one-way outlets of blood on the other side of a ventricle. The 4 heart valves include the following: Click image to enlarge Tricuspid valve. Located between the right atrium and the right...
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. The force is generated with each heartbeat as blood is pumped from the heart into the blood vessels. The size and elasticity of the artery walls also affect blood pressure. Each time the heart beats (contracts and relaxes), pressure is created inside the arteries. The pressure is greatest when blood is pumped out of the heart into the arteries. When the heart relaxes betwee...
History of Stroke
History of Stroke Hippocrates, the father of medicine, first recognized stroke over 2,400 years ago. At this time stroke was called apoplexy, which means "struck down by violence" in Greek. This was due to the fact that a person developed sudden paralysis and change in well-being. Doctors had little knowledge of the anatomy and function of the brain, the cause of stroke, or how to treat it. It was not until the mid-1600s that Jacob Wepfer found that patients who died with apoplexy had bleeding in the br...
Home Page - Cardiovascular Diseases
Topic Index Basic Anatomy of the Heart Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves Statistics Cardiac Diagnostic Tests Vital Signs Cardiac Procedures Cardiac Rehabilitation Cardiac Conditions and Diseases Stroke (Brain Attack) Vascular Conditions and Diseases Preventing Cardiovascular Disease The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) include coronary h...
Living with a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
Living with a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Pacemakers and ICDs generally last 5 to 7 years or longer, depending on usage and the type of device. In most cases, you can lead a normal life with an ICD. Advances in technology have reduced the chances that machines, such as microwaves, could interfere with your device. Even so, you must take certain precautions when you have a pacemaker or ICD. What precautions should I take with my pacemaker or ICD? The following precautions sh...
Maintaining Weight Loss
Maintaining Weight Loss Benefits of maintaining weight loss While losing weight is difficult for many people, it is even more challenging to keep the weight off. Most people who lose a large amount of weight have regained it 2 to 3 years later. One theory about regaining lost weight is that people who decrease the amount of calories they consume to lose weight experience a drop in the rate their bodies burn calories. This makes it increasingly difficult to lose weight over a period of months. A lower ra...
Medical Management of Vascular Conditions
Medical Management of Vascular Conditions Vascular system overview The blood vascular system, also called the circulatory system, of the body is made up of arteries, veins, and capillaries (tiny blood vessels between arteries and veins that distribute oxygen-rich blood to the body). The heart is responsible for pumping blood through this network of blood vessels throughout the body. Click Image to Enlarge Another vascular system of the body is the lymph system. The lymph vessels carry lymphatic fluid (a...
Medical Management of Vascular Conditions
Medical Management of Vascular Conditions Vascular system overview The blood vascular system, also called the circulatory system, of the body is made up of arteries, veins, and capillaries (tiny blood vessels between arteries and veins that distribute oxygen-rich blood to the body). The heart is responsible for pumping blood through this network of blood vessels throughout the body. Click Image to Enlarge Another vascular system of the body is the lymph system. The lymph vessels carry lymphatic fluid (a...
Medical Treatment for Obesity
Medical Treatment for Obesity Medical treatment overview You may need to see your healthcare provider for help in losing weight if your own efforts have failed or if you have other medical conditions that make it crucial for you to lose weight. You may need to take prescription medicine if you have obesity-related health problems. Many people take over-the-counter or alternative medicine supplements in an attempt to lose weight. But to keep the weight off for the long term, you'll need to change your un...
Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome What is metabolic syndrome? Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes the presence of a cluster of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome greatly raises the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or all three. Most people who have metabolic syndrome have insulin resistance. The body makes insulin to move glucose (sugar) into cells for use as energy. Obesity, commonly found in people with metabolic syndrome, makes it more difficult for c...
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Mitral Valve Prolapse What is mitral valve prolapse? Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is the bulging (or prolapse) of one or both of the mitral valve flaps into the left atrium when the heart contracts. When the flaps do not close properly, blood leaks backward. This is called regurgitation. Regurgitation may result in a heart murmur, an abnormal sound in the heart caused by turbulent blood flow. When regurgitation is present, it’s generally mild although it can progress into a more serious condition over ti...
Obesity
Obesity Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for developing many different health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone and joint disease. Listed in the directory below are some topics related to obesity, for which we have provided a brief overview. Overview of Obesity Treatment of Obesity Obesity Treatment Overview Medical Treatment for Obesity Surgical Treatment for Obesity Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) ...
Obesity Treatment Overview
Obesity Treatment Overview Treatment goals Regardless of the type or combination of obesity treatment, goal setting is an important part of any obesity treatment plan. While a person may want to lose a large amount of weight because of societal or fashion reasons, it is important to realize that setting and achieving a realistic goal of reducing weight by as little as 3% to 5% of body weight will yield important, positive gains in health. Treatment goals work best if they are tailored to a person's need...
Online Resources - Cardiovascular Diseases
Online Resources - Cardiovascular Diseases This Web was compiled from a variety of sources including the online resources listed below, but is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your health care provider. The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. This pa...
Overview of Obesity
Overview of Obesity Facts about obesity Overweight and obesity together make up one of the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S. Obesity is a chronic disease that can seriously affect your health. Overweight means that you have extra body weight, and obesity means having a high amount of extra body fat. Being overweight or obese raises your risk for health problems. These include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and certain ty...
Overview of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)
Overview of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) What is a permanent pacemaker? A permanent pacemaker, a small device that is implanted under the skin (most often in the shoulder area just under the collarbone), sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat. A permanent pacemaker may be used to make the heart beat if the heart's natural pacemaker (the SA node) is not functioning properly and has developed an abnormally slow heart rate or rhythm, or if the electr...
Overview of Stroke
Overview of Stroke Click Image to Enlarge What is stroke? Stroke, also called brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. Disruption in blood flow is caused when either a blood clot or piece of plaque blocks one of the vital blood vessels in the brain (ischemic stroke), or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into surrounding tissues (hemorrhagic stroke). The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function. Even a brief interruption in bl...
Overview of the Vascular System
Overview of the Vascular System What is the vascular system? The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, is made up of the vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body. The arteries and veins carry blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and taking away tissue waste matter. The lymph vessels carry lymphatic fluid (a clear, colorless fluid containing water and blood cells). The lymphatic system helps to protect and maintain the fluid environment ...
Overview of the Vascular System
Overview of the Vascular System What is the vascular system? The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, is made up of the vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body. The arteries and veins carry blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and taking away tissue waste matter. The lymph vessels carry lymphatic fluid (a clear, colorless fluid containing water and blood cells). The lymphatic system helps to protect and maintain the fluid environment ...
Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs)
Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) Living with a pacemaker or ICD requires special instructions and care. Listed in the directory below you will find information related to pacemakers, for which we have provided a brief overview. Overview of Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs ) Living With a Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Frequently Asked Questions About Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs )
Pericarditis
Pericarditis What is pericarditis? Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the thin sac (membrane) that surrounds the heart. The pericardium holds the heart in place and helps it work properly. There is a small amount of fluid between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium. This fluid keeps the layers from rubbing as the heart moves to pump blood. What causes pericarditis? Usually, the cause of pericarditis is unknown, but may include: Infection (by viruses, bacteria, a fungus, or parasi...
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral Vascular Disease What is peripheral vascular disease? Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder caused by narrowing, blockage, or spasms in a blood vessel. PVD may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart including the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels, such as the brain, and legs, may not get enough blood flow for proper function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus th...
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral Vascular Disease What is peripheral vascular disease? Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder caused by narrowing, blockage, or spasms in a blood vessel. PVD may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart including the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels, such as the brain, and legs, may not get enough blood flow for proper function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus th...
Preventing Obesity in Children, Teens, and Adults
Preventing Obesity in Children, Teens, and Adults Facts about prevention Obesity is a chronic disease affecting increasing numbers of children, teens and adults. Obesity rates among children in the U.S. have doubled since 1980 and have tripled for adolescents. About 17% of children aged 2 to 19 are considered obese, compared to over 35% of adults who are considered obese. Earlier onset of type 2 diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease, and obesity-related depression and social isolation in children and...
Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Embolism What is a pulmonary embolism? A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body (often in the leg). It travels to a lung artery where it suddenly blocks blood flow. A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel in one area of the body, breaks off, and travels to another area of the body in the blood is called an embolus . An embolus can lodge itself in a blood vessel. This can block the blood supply to a particular organ. This blockage of a blood vessel...
Rehabilitation for Stroke
Rehabilitation for Stroke What is stroke rehabilitation? Stroke rehabilitation or "rehab" helps you achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible — physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually after stroke. It helps restore you to optimal health, functioning, and well-being. Rehabilitate comes from the Latin "habilitas" which means "to make able again." The stroke rehab team The stroke rehab team revolves around the patient and family. The team helps set short- and long-te...
Renal Vascular Disease
Renal Vascular Disease What is renal vascular disease? Renal vascular disease affects the blood flow into and out of the kidneys. It may cause kidney damage, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. Vascular conditions include: Renal artery stenosis (RAS). This is a narrowing or blockage of an artery to the kidneys. It may cause kidney failure and high blood pressure. Smokers have a greater risk of getting RAS. It’s most common in men between the ages of 50 and 70. High cholesterol, diabetes, being over...
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic Heart Disease What is rheumatic heart disease? Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. The heart valve damage starts with an untreated or under-treated strep infection. In some cases, strep throat or scarlet fever, which are caused by streptococcus A bacteria, can progress to rheumatic fever if not treated properly. What causes rheumatic heart disease? Rheumatic heart disease is caused by rheumatic fever, an inflammator...
Risks of Physical Inactivity
Risks of Physical Inactivity What health risks are associated with physical inactivity? Lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other conditions: Less active and less fit people have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure. Studies show that physically active people are less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who are inactive. This is even after researchers accounted for smoking, alcohol use, and diet. Lack of physical...
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
Signs and Symptoms of Stroke What are the most common symptoms of stroke? The following are the most common symptoms of stroke. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. If any of these symptoms are present, call 911 (or your local ambulance service) immediately. Treatment is most effective when started immediately. Symptoms may be sudden and include: Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body Confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding Pr...
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
Smoking and Heart Disease The American Heart Association (AHA) says diseases caused by smoking kill more than 440,000 people in the U.S. each year. Most new smokers are children and teens. Smokers have higher risk for lung disease. This includes lung cancer and emphysema. They also have increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Facts about smoking and heart disease One out of every 5 smoking-related deaths is caused by heart disease. Women older than 35 who smoke and take birth control pills are at m...
Statistics of Stroke
Statistics of Stroke More about stroke or brain attack The American Stroke Association (ASA), a division of the American Heart Association, reports the following statistics regarding strokes: Stroke is the fifth largest cause of death, ranking behind diseases of the heart, all forms of cancer, and lower respiratory disease. Almost every 40 seconds in the United States, someone has a stroke. Over 4 million U.S. adults live today with the effects of a stroke. ASA estimates strokes cost the U.S. $73.7 bill...
Stroke (Brain Attack)
Stroke (Brain Attack) Stroke is a serious condition that requires clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below you will find some additional information regarding stroke, for which we have provided a brief overview. Overview of Stroke Signs and Symptoms of Stroke Risk Factors for Stroke Statistics of Stroke Types of Stroke Effects of Stroke Evaluation Procedures for Stroke Treatment for Stroke Rehabilitation for Stroke
Surgical Treatment for Obesity
Surgical Treatment for Obesity Weight-loss surgery is also called bariatric surgery. It's the only option today to treat morbid obesity in people for whom diet, exercise, and medication have failed. A variety of approaches to bariatric surgery is available, but all procedures are either malabsorptive or restrictive, or a combination of the 2. Malabsorptive procedures change the way the digestive system works. Restrictive procedures greatly reduce the size of the stomach to hold less food, but the digest...
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection What is a thoracic aortic aneurysm? Location of Aortas and Arteries in the Body (Click to Enlarge) A thoracic aortic aneurysm, also called TAA, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body), resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter (width). The aorta extends upward from the top of the left ventricle of the heart in the chest area (ascending thoracic aorta)...
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection
Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection What is a thoracic aortic aneurysm? Location of Aortas and Arteries in the Body (Click to Enlarge) A thoracic aortic aneurysm, also called TAA, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body), resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter (width). The aorta extends upward from the top of the left ventricle of the heart in the chest area (ascending thoracic aorta)...
Topic Index - Cardiovascular Diseases
Topic Index - Cardiovascular Diseases Cardiovascular Diseases Home Basic Anatomy of the Heart Anatomy and Function of the Heart's Electrical System Anatomy and Function of the Coronary Arteries Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves Statistics The Cardiologist The Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist Vital Signs Automated External Defibrillator Cardiac Procedures Cardiac Catheterization Echocardiography (echo) Electrocardiogram (EKG) / Stress Test / Holter Monitor Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Car...
Treatment for Stroke
Treatment for Stroke Medical treatment for stroke Specific treatment for stroke will be determined by your doctor based on: Your age, overall health, and medical history Severity of the stroke Location of the stroke Cause of the stroke Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies Type of stroke Your opinion or preference Although there is no cure for stroke, advanced medical and surgical treatments are now available, giving many stroke victims hope for optimal recovery. Emergency tr...
Treatment of Obesity
Treatment of Obesity Because obesity is a serious, chronic disease that can inflict substantial harm to a person's health, treatment is very important. A variety of methods are used to treat obesity. Incorporating multiple methods, such as making diet changes as well as adding exercise, may be beneficial. Obesity Treatment Overview Medical Treatment for Obesity Surgical Treatment for Obesity Gastric Bypass (Malabsorptive) Surgery Gastric Stapling (Restrictive) Surgery
Types of Stroke
Types of Stroke What are the different types of stroke? According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), strokes can be classified into 2 main categories: 87% are ischemic strokes. These are strokes caused by blockage of an artery (or, in rare instances, a vein). 13% are hemorrhagic strokes. These are strokes caused by bleeding. What is an ischemic stroke? An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies the brain becomes blocked or "clogged" and impairs blood flow to part of the brain. Th...
Varicose Veins
Varicose Veins What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins. Varicose veins can happen anywhere in the body, but are more common in the legs. Varicose veins are not considered a serious medical condition. But, they can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious problems. And, because they may be very noticeable, they may cause people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. What are spider veins? Spider veins, a milder type of varicose veins, are smaller than varicose veins and of...
Varicose Veins
Varicose Veins What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins. Varicose veins can happen anywhere in the body, but are more common in the legs. Varicose veins are not considered a serious medical condition. But, they can be uncomfortable and can lead to more serious problems. And, because they may be very noticeable, they may cause people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. What are spider veins? Spider veins, a milder type of varicose veins, are smaller than varicose veins and of...
Vascular Conditions and Diseases
Vascular Conditions and Diseases There are many vascular conditions that require clinical care by a physician or other health care professional. Listed in the directory below are some of these conditions, for which we have provided a brief overview. Overview of the Vascular System Medical Management of Vascular Conditions Aneurysm Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Cerebral Aneurysm Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Carotid Artery Disease Chronic Venous Insufficiency Claudication Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Thrombophleb...
Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure)
Vital Signs (Body Temperature, Pulse Rate, Respiration Rate, Blood Pressure) What are vital signs? Vital signs are measurements of the body's most basic functions. The four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals and health care providers include the following: Body temperature Pulse rate Respiration rate (rate of breathing) Blood pressure (Blood pressure is not considered a vital sign, but is often measured along with the vital signs.) Vital signs are useful in detecting or monito...