Circulatory Diseases & Disorders
- This is an illustration of healthy heart.
According to a 2009 by the World Health Organization, diseases of the heart and circulation---cardiovascular and cerebrovascular---such as heart attacks and stroke, are responsible for more than 15 million deaths worldwide each year. "A large proportion of them are also preventable or avoidable," states the WHO. Smoking, obesity, poor diet and heavy use of alcohol are associated with many circulatory system diseases.
- According to WHO, the most important circulatory diseases are hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and cardiomyopathy. Worldwide, there are more deaths from coronary heart disease (7.2 million) than stroke (4.6 million), but more than twice as many deaths from stroke occur in developing countries as in developed countries. Other circulatory diseases and disorders include anemia, Barlow's syndrome or floppy valve syndrome, chronic venus insufficiency, Lyme disease, Rh disease, Kawasaki disease, Volkmann's ischemia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and Raynaud's disease.
Coronary Heart Disease
- According to the American Heart Association, total cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, as of 2009. With the highest death rate being among those over the age of 75. Coronary heart disease is defined as a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to your heart. According to the National Library of Medicine, it is caused by the building up of plaque on the walls of your arteries. Diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, smoking, abuse of alcohol and a lack of exercise increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
- Cerebrovascular disease, otherwise known as stroke, occurs when your brain does not receive enough oxygen and blood flow is restricted and therefore brain tissue dies. According to Penn State Children's Hospital, stroke may occur due to a blocked blood vessel (ischemic stroke) or as a result of a blood vessel bursting (hemorrhagic stroke). "When the blood vessel bursts, it prevents normal blood flow to the brain and allows blood to leak into an area of the brain, where it destroys tissue," according to PSCH. According to the American Stroke Association, as of 2009, 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke resulting in more than 143,000 stroke-related deaths.
- This is a diseased heart.
Cardiomyopathy is an extremely serious disease that occurs when your heart muscle becomes inflamed and ceases to function properly, possibly due to viral infections. Of the three main types of cardiomyopathy---dilated, hypertrophic and restrictive, the most common is dilated or congestive cardiomyopathy in which most patients develop heart failure. If you have dilated cardiomyopathy, you may experience arrhythmias. Since blood flow is restricted in an enlarged heart, you may also develop blood clots in the lining of your heart, or in the right or left ventricle of your heart.
- According to WHO, rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease affect about 12 million people worldwide causing 400,000 deaths each year. It is one of the most common circulatory diseases among children in developing countries. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that sometimes results from an infection of the throat such as streptococus. Inflammation can occur in the heart, central nervous system, skin and joints. Symptoms include fever, swelling and pain in your joints, chest pain or heart palpitations, fatigue, uncontrollable body movements and shortness of breath. Rheumatic fever may lead to permanent complications such as Rheumatic heart disease in which your heart muscle is weakened or your heart valves become narrow resulting in a reduction of blood flow.