Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chicana and Chicano StudiesLatino Health Issues


What is Cardiovascular Disease?


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Once again, prevention of cardiovascular disease must always be the top priority, but diagnosis and treatment is also a major focus of the disease. Immediate treatment can be the reason for one's survival. Treatments include lifestyle changes, drugs, therapy, or surgical interventions. Treatment is sometimes complicated as the AHA reported that 250,000 Americans die of a heart attack within one hour of the beginning of symptoms, before they even reach a hospital. If one detects cardiovascular disease, physical activity is said works for some people. Daily exercise may be enough for some people to get better (not the case for every one). The biggest complication from cardiovascular disease is the heart attack, which can also cause cardiac arrest (stops the heart's pumping action) and such thing must be treated within a few minutes in order to reduce the risk of permanent brain damage or even death. The biggest factor causing delay of treatment is denial that anything serious is occurring. The best way to treat a heart attack is within the first two hours to open the coronary artery. If the stabilization of the heart attack is reached than the patient must be treated with cardiac drugs or cardiac rehabilitation.

Cardiac drugs: are used to keep the blood vessels open and on cardiac output. There are many medications available for coronary artery disease, but they must be customized to the patient.

Heart transplant: is only recommended for people with untreatable heart failure. But this of course requires a donor heart.

Cardiac Rehabilitation: combines risk factor modification and prescriptive exercise training for people with established heart disease. This could be enough treatment for some people depending on the person.

Some people are fortunate enough and neglect denial. If one starts to feel some early symptoms of heart attack, then that person may be able to only take light medication such as aspirin to interfere with the formation of blood clots, or Pentoxifylline(Trental) to improve the blood flow through narrowed arteries. Medication to control blood pressure and cholesterol (if elevated) may also be helpful even though the probability of symptoms of a heart attack are rare.





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This site was created by Marco Galaz in fulfillment of requirements for the course CSS 335: Latino Health Issues taught by Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga at Arizona State University, Spring 2005.