What is Heart disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels.
The underlying mechanisms varies depending on the disease in question. IHD, stroke, and PAD involve atherosclerosis. This may be caused by high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and excessive alcohol, among others. High blood pressure results in 13% of CVD deaths, while tobacco results in 9%, diabetes 6%, lack of exercise 6% and obesity 5%. Others such as RHD may follow untreated ''streptococcal'' infections of the throat.
It is estimated that 90% of CVD is preventable. Treating high blood pressure and diabetes is also beneficial. Treating people who have strep throat with antibiotics can decrease the risk of RHD.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. This is true in all areas of the world except Africa. Together they resulted in 17.3 million deaths (31.5%) in 2013 up from 12.3 million (25.8%) in 1990. Most cardiovascular disease affects older adults. In the United States 11% of people between 20 and 40 have CVD, while 37% between 40 and 60, 71% of people between 60 and 80, and 85% of people over 80 have CVD. Disease onset is typically seven to ten years earlier in men as compared to women.