Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Brett Heilbron, MD, FRCPC, Cardiologist, discusses the types of cardiovascular disease.

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Dr. Brett Heilbron, MD, FRCPC, Cardiologist, discusses the types of cardiovascular disease.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Brett Heilbron, MD, FRCPC, Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Duration: 2 minutes, 13 seconds

The main types of cardiovascular disease seen in practice related to atherosclerosis, or fatty deposit in the arteries.

And this can manifest as angina or chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and sometimes as problems with the peripheral blood vessels, usually a narrowing of these vessels.

As time goes on, atrial fibrillation is becoming much more of an issue as the population ages, and this is an irregularity of the top chambers of the heart beat, which is very related to older individuals.

A number of things can be done to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and also to minimize the chance of future cardiovascular events in individuals who have already been diagnosed with heart disease, or has had an event such as a heart attack or stroke.

In particular, getting into a regular exercise program makes a huge difference to the subsequent risk. And patients should be encouraged to exercise for at least half an hour for at least three days a week, and the more the better, really, in terms of exercise.

Diet is a huge part of it as well. Certainly patients should be encouraged to reduce the amount of salt in their diet, and certainly the amount of fat as well. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables is recommended as well.

Smoking cessation is a pretty obvious way to reduce subsequent risk. And then there's the control of the major risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, and often this requires medications.

Stress reduction is a significant part of the treatment of heart disease as well as the prevention of it, and individuals should be encouraged to reduce the amount of stress in their life. Often this involves working less, exercising more, and just taking the time to deal with their health issues.

Moderation of alcohol intake is another factor that can reduce subsequent cardiovascular risk. And there is some data that having up to two drinks a day may be beneficial in terms of reducing risk.

But certainly if individuals have health concerns they should see their local practitioner and explore their cardiovascular risk and ways to reduce it.

Presenter: Dr. Brett Heilbron, Cardiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.