Five facts about cardiovascular disease (CVD)
1. CVD is the leading cause of death globally, with one person dying of CVD every 34 seconds in the US. In 2019, approximately 17.9 million people died from CVD worldwide, equating to 32% of all deaths.
2. The main risk factors of CVD, including heart attack and stroke, include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, stress, family history of CVD, being overweight or obese, ethnic background, high blood pressure and cholesterol; most CVDs can be prevented by reducing these risk factors.
3. Men are more likely to get CVD earlier than women, and the older a patient is the more likely they are to have CVD, and over three-quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- or middle-income countries.
4. There are various types of CVD, including coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
5. The main symptoms of CVD are: chest pain; pain, weakness or numb legs and/or arms; breathlessness; very fast or slow heartbeat, or palpitations; feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint; fatigue; and swollen limbs.
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