By Sandra J. Judd
Cardiovascular problems Sourcebook
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Additional info for Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook
Some of the things that make your heart work harder are: • certain medications; • emotional stress; • extreme physical exertion; • illness; • infections; • injuries. Common Problems • Angina (chest pain caused by temporarily reduced blood flow to the heart muscle), shortness of breath with exertion, and heart attack can result from coronary artery disease. • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) of various types can occur. • Anemia may occur, possibly related to malnutrition, chronic infections, blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract, or as a complication of other diseases or medications.
The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart attack. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins. Two major kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body: • Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. This is because it carries cholesterol to tissues, including your heart arteries. A high LDL cholesterol level raises your risk of CHD. 13 Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook, Fifth Edition • High-density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol.
Increasing age and a family history of diabetes also places you at greater risk. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, 2013. org. What is blood pressure? Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries (or blood vessels) as blood flows through the body. Blood pressure is given as two numbers. The first or top number is the systolic pressure—the pressure of the blood in the vessels as the heart beats. The second or bottom number is the diastolic pressure—the pressure in the vessels as the heart relaxes between beats.
Cardiovascular Disorders Sourcebook by Sandra J. Judd