Cardiovascular disease can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestle


'Cardiovascular disease' (CVD) refers to a group of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, for example, heart attack and stroke. CVD is associated with damage to many parts of the body such as the heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and limbs.

Heart attacks and strokes are common, but many could be prevented.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels.

It's usually associated with a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries – known as atherosclerosis – and an increased risk of blood clots. It can also be associated with damage to arteries in organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes.

The three main conditions are:

  • coronary heart disease (which can cause angina or heart attack)
  • stroke
  • peripheral arterial disease (also known as peripheral vascular disease)

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, but often it can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.


What are the causes of CVD?

There are many things that can increase your risk of developing CVD. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances are of developing CVD.

What is cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk?

Practice nurse Jan Procter-King explains what is meant by ‘your CVD risk' in the video below.

Listen to a podcast on cardiovascular disease prevention in the North West Coast

In this podcast, Dr Andy Knox, a GP in Lancashire and Cumbria who is also the area's associate medical director for population health; and the Innovation Agency's CVD prevention programme lead Dr Julia Reynolds tell Nigel Thompson how they hope to turn the tide by identifying more people with high blood pressure - many of whom are blissfully unaware they may have it. 

Dr Andy Knox

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