Cardiovascular disease(CVDs) is the most common cause of mortality in rich countries and today it has the same meaning for health care as the epidemics of past centuries had for medicine in earlier times: 50% of the population in these countries die of cardiovascular disease. The amount of cardiovascular disease is also increasing in the developing countries together with economic growth.CVDs include diseases of the heart, vascular diseases of the brain and diseases of blood vessels. Caused by atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are the most common forms of CVDs. Other less common forms of CVDs include rheumatic heart disease and congenital heart disease. Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. The cause of heart attacks and strokes are usually the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia.
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