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Cardiovascular Disease is the Leading Cause of Death Globally

Joelle Reizes - August 8, 2011



Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death globally? According to information from the World Health Organization it is.

In fact, the World Health Organization reports that an estimated 17.1 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2004, with 7.2 million of the deaths being due to coronary heart disease and 5.7 million due to stroke. These numbers represent 29% of deaths globally. And by 2030, they estimate that deaths due to cardivascular disease will reach 23.6 million, with the majority of these deaths being largely the result of coronary heart disease and stroke.

If you are getting confused over all the disease names, here is some explanation:

Coronary heart disease and stroke-causing cerebrovascular disease are both part of a group of cardiovascular diseases, or disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Following is the list of cardiovascular diseases straight from the World Health Organization’s fact sheet:

  • coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle
  • cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
  • peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs 
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs
  • rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
  • congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth

Bottom line, these disorders can put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, and more often than not, the root cause is a build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels.

prevent heart disease

A healthy diet goes a long way in preventing heart disease.

You know what else? You can help prevent heart disease and stroke risk factors by:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Not smoking

In fact, the World Health Organization states that, “Behavioural risk factors are responsible for about 80% of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease” and many times there are no symptoms. Read the World Health Organization’s fact sheet on cardiovascular disease at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/index.html

Prevention and Control Programs are Needed

The World Health Organization recognizes that there is a need for programs aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease. Until then, Life Line Screening continues to screen in the US and the UK for many of the diseases on the cardiovascular disease list, including:

  • Cholesterol screening (not in all states)
  • Carotid artery screening
  • Peripheral arterial disease screening
  • High blood pressure screening (not in all states)
  • Elevated C-reactive protein screening
  • High glucose screening

These screenings can help determine your risk before a heart disease or stroke occurs. Sign up for a screening today at http://www.lifelinescreening.com/




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About the Author

Joelle Reizes

I am the Communications Director at Life Line Screening with more than 15 years of experience in the field of health communications, much of it specifically working with health screening programs. Read More.

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