I have had coronary artery disease for about 20 years, and as a member of Mended Hearts I have been editor of a local chapter newsletter for over 10 years, so I have been hearing, reading and writing about heart disease for a long time.
I think the descriptions are good but I would classify the conditions differently.
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for heart (cardiac) disease and vascular disease.
The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, so called because the coronary arteries are the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle. It can lead to angina and/or heart attack. Other types of heart disease include heart failure, arrhythmias, heart valve disease, congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathies, pericarditis and coronary artery dissection.
The rest are vascular diseases. Stroke is not a type of heart disease but it has a lot in common with a heart attack. In both cases a portion of a vital organ, either the brain or the heart muscle, is deprived of oxygen due to a lack of blood flow. Aortic defects and diseases, including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection, are not heart disease because the aorta is not part of the heart. Other vascular diseases include peripheral vascular disease and excessive blood clots.
Finally: knowledge is power. Do not be afraid. We will die. The only question is how long we can put it off. Accept that, live until you die, and be grateful for the gift of life. I could have died in a boat accident on July 28, 1978 and I am grateful for every day, every year I have lived since then. I have heart disease but a doctor told me when I was younger that I will not die of heart disease. I almost proved him right. I don't know how I will die; most of us don't know that until the very end. I plan to live to 140 or die trying.
To all of you, good health and happiness for 2013 and the rest of your life. Live long and rejoice.
- 1/3/2013 9:04:23 AM