Diseases of the cardiovascular system include atherosclerosis and hypertension. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the buildup of fatty materials. One of these fatty materials is cholesterol, a waxy substance. Atherosclerosis results in a reduced flow of blood in the affected artery. This condition may lead to a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked.
Cells die in the part of the heart that does not receive blood and oxygen. Which results in damage to the heart. Treatment for mild atherosclerosis usually includes a low fat diet and moderate exercise program. People with sever atherosclerosis may need to undergo surgery to unclog the blocked arteries.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a disorder in which a person’s blood pressure is consistently higher than normal – usually defined as greater than 140/90. Hypertension makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Over time both the heart and arteries can be severely damaged.
To help maintain cardiovascular health, people should exercise regularly; eat a balanced diet low in saturated fats and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium and avoid smoking.