Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for over 1.37 million deaths in the US (2004) and 4.35 million deaths in Europe (2000).
CVD covers a number of disease states including coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome (unstable angina and myocardial infarction), stroke and heart failure.
Coronary artery disease is a result of plaque build-up in the arteries (especially in the heart) leading to blockage of blood flow that can result in a myocardial infarction or heart attack.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is no longer able to effectively pump blood through the body. This may be caused by a myocardial infarction, high blood pressure or cardiomyopathy.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Chest X-ray
- Exercise stress test
- Laboratory tests,
- Risk factors: cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, thyroid function
- Myocardial necrosis: Troponin-I, CK-MB, Myoglobin
- Heart Failure: BNP
Medical and surgical treatments are available
- Lipid lowering drugs, e.g. statins, fibrates
- Anti-hypertensives, e.g. ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)
- Coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG)
- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
- Coronary stent placement
- Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)