Cardiovascular Health - How do you look after your HEART
Facts about Cardiovascular disease in Australia
According to the Department of Health, cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death and disease in Australia, estimated at 3.7 million people, back in 2013. More people than ever are living with cardiovascular disease and the numbers are increasing due to improved treatment methods and our aging population. Cardiovascular disease was the cause of death for 43,603 people in 2013 (that’s one person every 12 minutes) and was the main cause of 518, 563 hospitalisations.
What is cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease is a term that is used to describe a group of conditions that affect the heart, arteries and veins. They include coronary heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
- Coronary heart disease (also known as ischaemic heart disease) is the most common form of cardiovascular disease, with the two major forms of coronary heart disease being heart attack and angina. When someone is having a heart attack, it means that the blood flow to the heart muscle itself is being blocked, often resulting in permanent damage and a decreased ability for the muscle to function properly.
- Angina occurs when temporary blockages of the blood flow to the heart occur, resulting in chest pain that may not necessarily be life-threatening, but can increase the chances of a heart attack.
- Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood around the body and usually, but not always, develops over time.
- Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart muscle has thickened and stiffened, making it difficult to pump blood around the body effectively and usually occurs in conjunction with heart failure.
- Congenital heart disease refers to any abnormality of the heart or blood vessels that has been present from birth.
- Peripheral vascular disease affects the major arteries that supply the legs and arms and can be caused by a build-up of cholesterol causing blockages or widening of the arteries.
- Stroke results from a blockage of blood flow to the brain or the sudden bleeding of an artery. The result is usually damage to that part of the brain, leading to impairment.
What are the causes?
Risk factors includes age, genetic predisposition, gender (more males than females are affected) and ethnicity (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the highest rate of hospitalisation and death). Lifestyle or modifiable behaviours are tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, a poor diet that is also low in fruit and vegetables and excessive alcohol consumption. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and overweight and obesity also play a major role in cardiovascular disease..
How to look after your heart?
Looking after your heart may require some changes if you currently fall into any of the risk factor categories. Quitting smoking, increasing your physical activity, decreasing alcohol consumption and managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight with dietary changes can put you on the path to a healthy heart. Ensure your dietary intake includes Comvita Cardiovascular Support Extra Strength Olive Leaf Extract. With a 50% stronger formulation, Cardiovascular Support has been shown to support a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Recent research published in the British Journal of Nutrition (1) has shown olive leaf extract to be a useful dietary supplement in reducing cardiovascular risk factors.
1. Secoiridoids delivered as olive leaf extract induce acute improvements in human vascular function and reduction of an inflammatory cytokine: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Lockyer S, et al. British Journal of Nutrition. 114 (01), July 2015.