Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women of all races worldwide. In 2018, 30.3 million adults in the United States were detected with heart disease. Heart disease kills approximately 647,000 Americans each year, making it the most common cause of death in the United States. One out of every four deaths is caused by heart disease. A heart attack occurs every 40 seconds in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year, 805,000 Americans suffer a heart attack, with 605,000 experiencing their first.
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for the majority of racial and ethnic groups. It was responsible for 23.7 percent of deaths in white people and 23.5 percent in black people in 2015. In 2017, the death rate from heart disease in Black men was 202.8 per 100,000 people. In comparison, white males had 274.5 deaths per 100,000. Black women died at a rate of 165.5 per 100,000, while white women died at a rate of 231.4 per 100,000. For both men and women, heart disease is the primary cause of death. Women are just as likely as men to suffer from a heart attack.
What precisely are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of heart and blood vessel disorders. They are as follows:
- Coronary Heart Disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
- Cerebrovascular Disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: A disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
- Rheumatic Heart Disease: Damage to the muscle and valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
- Congenital Heart Disease: Birth defects that affect the normal development and functioning of the heart caused by malformations of the heart structure from birth; and
- Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: Blood clots in the leg veins, can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.
Stroke and coronary artery disease are typically sudden events caused by a clog that inhibits the flow of blood to the heart or brain. The major reason is an accumulation of fibrous tissue on the inner walls of blood vessels that supply the cardiovascular system or brain. Strokes can caused by blood clots or bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Mostly, there aren’t any signs of underlying blood vessel disease. A heart attack or stroke could be the first indication of an autoimmune cause. Heart attack symptoms include:
- Distress in the center of the chest
- Discomfort in the arms left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back.
Furthermore, the person could experience trouble breathing or shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, light-headedness or faintness, a cold sweat, and turning pale. Shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain is more common in women than in men. A stroke’s most common sign is the unexpected weakness of the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body.
Other symptoms include the sudden appearance of:
- Numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body;
- Confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech;
- Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes;
- Difficulty walking, dizziness, and/or loss of balance or coordination;
- Severe headache with no known cause; and/or
- Fainting or unconsciousness.
- People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
What are the potential consequences?
Having even one risk factor raises your chances of developing heart disease. Approximately 50 percent of all adults have at least one of three major risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking.
The most common heart disease risks are as follows:
- High blood pressure: High blood pressure, or hypertension, has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- High cholesterol: Extra cholesterol can build up on artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.
- Diabetes: Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than people who don’t have it.
- Depression: Adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms of depression have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese is linked to several factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes and high blood pressure.