Stockton JSNA


Cardiovascular Disease

Introduction

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to a group of related disease and conditions of the heart and blood vessels linked by a common set of risk factors leading to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the gradual build-up of fatty material ‘atheroma’ in the walls of arteries leading to narrowing and stiffening of the arteries. Cardiovascular conditions includes:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a disease in which the coronary arteries are narrowed by arthrosclerosis or obstructed by blood clots resulting in a reduced or sudden stop of the blood supply to the heart muscle. This leads to angina, heart attack and heart muscle damage.
  • Cerebrovascular disease is a disease in which the cerebral arteries are narrowed by arthrosclerosis or obstructed by blood clots resulting in a reduced or sudden stop so the blood supply to the brain. This leads to transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) and stroke.
  • Peripheral vascular disease is a disease in which the arteries of the arms and legs are narrowed by arthrosclerosis or obstructed by blood clots resulting in a reduced or sudden stop of the blood supply to arms and legs. This leads to claudication.

More than 7 million people in the UK are estimated to suffer from cardiovascular disease. CVD remains the leading cause of death in the UK and is still the single most common cause of premature death in the UK with significantly higher mortality rates in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived areas. 

The diagnosis of CVD is a life-changing event for patients and their families and causes considerable demand on health and social care. Healthcare costs relating to heart and circulatory diseases are estimated at £9 billion each year and costs to the UK economy are estimated to be £19 billion each year.

CVD is preventable. CVD mortality and early mortality reduced significantly over the past decades through preventing and managing risk factors as well as better treatment for CVD. To ensure that this trend continues a focus on preventions and collaborative effort to identify and teat early is required.  

Other JSNA topics this topic closely linked to:

Obesity

Smoking

Physical inactivity

Diabetes mellitus

Diet and nutrition

Alcohol misuse

 

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