Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is America’s number one killer, accounting for approximately one million deaths each year! That’s 40% of all US deaths annually, or about 2,000 jumbo jets worth of Americans.
CVD is most commonly known as heart disease. This is because heart disease and stroke are CVD’s most pervasive components; they are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
But CVD is not only a disease of the heart. CVD attacks the heart, the brain and the arteries with equal vigor. CVD is America’s number one killer precisely because it can strike in many different ways, often silently and unexpectedly.
At the root of CVD is a build up of fatty deposits in the arteries called plaque. Over time, this build-up can cause an insufficient blood supply or blockage of blood (and hence oxygen) to the heart (heart attack and angina), the brain (stroke and ischaemic attacks), muscles (claudication) or can cause blood vessels to bulge or burst (aortic aneurysm).