About Cardiovascular Disease


Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Cardiovascular Disease


Cardiovascular disease(s) may refer to any of the disorders that can affect the circulatory system. These disorders are as follows:

  1. Acute Rheumatic fever
  2. Chronic rheumatic heart diseases
  3. Hypertensive Diseases
    • Essential (Primary) Hypertension
    • Hypertensive Heart Disease
    • Hypertensive Renal disease
    • Hypertensive Heart and Renal Disease
    • Secondary Hypertension
  4. Ischemic Heart Disease
  5. Pulmonary Heart Disease and Diseases of Pulmonary Circulation
  6. Other forms of Heart Disease
  7. Cerebrovascular Diseases
  8. Diseases of Arteries, Arterioles and Capillaries
  9. Diseases of Veins, Lymphatic Vessels and Lymph Nodes
  10. Other and Unspecified Disorders of the Circulatory System

Ischemic Heart Disease and Hypertensive Heart Disease together are also referred as Coronary Heart Disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. About one-third (34%) of adult Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. In 2002, CVD caused 38% of all deaths in the United States and the adjusted CVD death rate was 319.0 per 100,000 population. The direct and indirect economic cost of CVD in the United States was estimated at 393.5 billion dollars in 2005.

In 2003, cardiovascular disease remained the leading cause of death in Kansas. It caused 8,981 deaths accounting for approximately 37% of all deaths in Kansas. The average annual age-adjusted cardiovascular disease death rate in Kansas for 2002-2003 was 299.3 per 100,000 population.

Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke are two major components of cardiovascular disease.

Coronary Heart Disease:

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is a condition that occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles, called coronary arteries, become hardened and narrowed. The coronary arteries become hard and narrow due to the initiation of a process called atherosclerosis, which involves build up and deposition of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood) in the inner lining of an artery. The lipid-laden deposit is called plaque. These plaques grow and cause narrowing of the artery leading to decrease in blood flow to the heart muscles. The plaque may also rupture leading to thrombus formation. Thus plaque or the thrombus formed by the rupture of plaque can cause partial or complete occlusion of blood flow to the heart muscles. The partial occlusion to blood flow results in Angina, whereas complete occlusion lead to permanent damage of heart muscle resulting in myocardial infarction or heart attack.

An estimated 13 million people in the United States have Coronary Heart Disease. Though the age-adjusted CHD mortality rates are declining, CHD is still the leading cause of death in the United States among males and females. CHD resulted in one of every five deaths in the United States in 2002. The direct and indirect cost of the disease was estimated as $142 billion in 2005.

In Kansas, Coronary Heart Disease is a leading cause of death. In 2003, the age-adjusted CHD mortality rate was 136.0 per 100,000 population. The mortality rates of CHD in Kansas are also declining, however, despite this continuing decline, CHD remains the leading cause of death in Kansas.

Stroke (Cerebrovascular Disease):

Stroke is a disease that affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the brain bursts or is obstructed by a blood clot or some other mass. The rupture or blockage of these blood vessels cause interruption of blood supply to the brain leading to death of brain cells within short time. This results in loss or alteration of body functions. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic stroke caused by the blockage of a blood vessel of the brain; hemorrhagic stroke caused by rupture of a blood vessel and bleeding into or around the brain.

In 2002, an estimated 5.4 million people in the United States have had a stroke and resulted in 1 of every 15 deaths. The age-adjusted stroke mortality rate was 56.2 per 100,000 population in 2002. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States among both males and females despite the declining mortality rates over the last several years. The direct and indirect cost of the disease was estimated as $56.8 billion for 2005.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Kansas. In 2003, the age-adjusted stroke mortality rate was 56.5 per 100,000 population. The age-adjusted stroke mortality rates in Kansas have shown a decline over the past several years. A decline of 19.5% was seen in the mortality rates from 1995 to 2003. However, despite this continuing decline, stroke remains the third leading cause of death resulting in 7.2% of all deaths in Kansas.