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Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular Disease

Being diagnosed with, or having a family history of, cardiovascular disease can be a very stressful and frightening experience. It is crucial to have the skilled practitioner who will screen you for risk factors and get you in additional tests. Dr. Farhadian will follow-up with you in case of abnormal test results. She has extensive training and experience in handling cardiovascular disease in a hospital setting. Not only can she diagnose your specific condition and provide treatment, she can also help you to make the right lifestyle changes that will help in reducing your risk of further cardiovascular problems in future.

Cardiovascular Disease Q & A

by: Elaheh Farhadian, M.D.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease includes several conditions that cause damage and narrowing of the blood vessels. Most of these problems will lead to plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries, which is known as atherosclerosis. This condition strains your heart, since your arteries become more narrow, forcing your heart to work harder to circulate blood. When you have cardiovascular disease, your risk of suffering from blood vessel blockages, chest pain called angina, heart attack, and stroke, all go up.

The term "heart disease", on the other hand, is a broader term that technically consists of any issues that affect your heart, including cardiovascular disease. But heart disease includes other heart-related conditions, too, such as arrhythmias, valve problems, and congenital heart defects, to name a few. Since cardiovascular disease and heart disease are so intertwined, you may hear the terms used interchangeably.

How does high blood pressure affect my heart?

Every time your heart beats, it pushes blood through your blood vessels. This force allows your blood to circulate and is known as your blood pressure. When the circulating blood puts too much force against your artery walls, it can lead to problems.

If the force of your blood pumping through your arteries is too high over the long term, you have high blood or hypertension. The resistance in your blood vessels means your heart will need to pump harder, just to do its job, which puts extra stress on the heart. When your blood vessels are narrowed from cardiovascular disease, and you have high blood pressure, too , your risk of having heart attack and stroke.

Normal blood pressure should be 130/80 or lower. If your blood pressure readings are above 140/90, Dr. Farhadian will likely have to start treating you for hypertension, which may include lifestyle changes and medication.

Are there other factors that can increase my risk of developing cardiovascular disease?

Yes. Having high blood pressure isn't the only risk factor for cardiovascular disease, although it is common one. You might also have an increased risk of heart and blood vessel problems if you:

  • Have high cholesterol
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Are overweight
  • Don't exercise
  • Have an unhealthy diet
  • Are under a lot of stress
  • Are older
  • Have diabetes


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