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Cardiovascular Disease Assignment

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1. Trace the path of a drop of blood from the time it enters the vena cava until it reaches your little finger. Be sure to include the types of blood vessels involved. Deoxygenated blood enters the right atrium from superior and inferior vena cava after having been circulated through the body. From the right atrium, blood moves to the right ventricle and is pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, where it receives oxygen. Oxygenated blood from the lungs then returns to the left atrium of the heart. Blood from the left atrium moves into the left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps blood through the aorta to all body parts (such as your little finger)

2. List the different types of CVD. Compare and contrast their symptoms, risk factors, prevention, and treatment. Atherosclerosis (fatty plaque buildup in the arteries) -artery becomes clogged or narrows, restricting blood flow. Hyperlipidemia (an abnormally high blood lipid level) is a key factor, resulting in plaque buildup. Cutting down on fatty food is very helpful in the prevention of this CVD. Causes: Genetics, high blood pressure surges, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood (i.e., hyperlipidemia), and cigarette smoking Coronary heart disease (CHD)

Chest pain (angina pectoris)
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Congenital and rheumatic heart disease
Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)

The same lifestyle changes that help to lower cholesterol can also reduce CRP levels CVDs continue to be the leading cause of death in the United States, Europe, and most of Asia

3. What are the major indicators that CVD poses a particularly significant risk to people of your age? To the elderly? To people from selected minority groups? Kids of my age tend to put a lot less focus on a healthy diet than those of a higher age. Yet, those who are older are more prone to high cholesterol levels and stroke. There are also people with certain blood deficiencies that may be at higher risk for a form of CVD. Seventy-five percent of all heart attacks occur in people over age 65. A family history of heart disease appears to increase the risk significantly. Men are at greater risk for CVD until about age 60. African Americans have a 45 percent greater risk for hypertension and thus a greater risk for CVD than whites. In addition, African Americans are less likely to survive a heart attack.

4. Discuss the role that exercise, stress management, dietary changes, medical checkups, sodium reduction, and other factors can play in reducing risk for CVD. What role may chronic infections play in CVD risk? These all affect CVD in some way. Stress levels, fattening foods, cholesterol, all heavily impact the chance of having CVD. If you are prone to chronic infections, your body isn’t as resistant to CVD as others’ are.

5. Discuss why age is such an important factor in women’s risk for CVD. What can be done to decrease women’s risk in later life? Women under 35 have a fairly low risk unless they have high blood pressure, kidney problems, or diabetes. Using oral contraceptives and smoking also increase the risk. Hormonal factors appear to reduce risk for women, although after menopause or after estrogen levels are otherwise reduced, women’s LDL levels tend to go up, which increases their chances for CVD. Essentially, when women go into menopause, their hormones are a lot different than they used to be, therefore knocking down a barrier of resistance against the risk of CVD. Also, women are more suseptable to heart disease than men,

6. Describe some of the diagnostic and treatment alternatives for CVD. If you had a heart attack today, which treatment would you prefer? Explain why. Coronary bypass surgery – when a blood vessel is taken from another site in the patient’s body and implanted to “bypass” blocked arteries and transport blood. Angiography- when a thin catheter is threaded through blocked heart arteries. The catheter has a balloon at the tip, which is inflated to flatten fatty deposits against the artery walls, allowing blood to flow more freely. I would choose an angiography because it carries fewer risks and may be more effective than bypass surgery in selected cases. I would also take Aspirin on a regular basis (like my mom) as a preventative procedure.

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