Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) refers to the class of diseases that involve the heart and/or blood vessels. This includes disease and obstruction of the:
- coronary arteries (vessels supplying the heart) – leading to clots, congestive heart failure and heart attacks;
- the cerebral arteries (vessels supplying the brain) – leading to stroke;
- the peripheral arteries (vessels supplying the arms and legs) – leading to pain and gangrene.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America and Connecticut – stroke is number three.
Risk factors for CVD include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity and inadequate nutrition.
You can work to lower your risk of CVD by not smoking and by modifying your physical activity and nutrition. A low-fat, low-calorie diet in combination with regular cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise will help you maintain a healthy Body Mass Index.