What Is Cardiovascular Disease?

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Cardiovascular disease, in general, refers to blockages in the arteries of the heart and the entire vascular system. Learn about vascular disease, or the plaque buildup in blood vessels, with information from a cardiologist in this free video on cardiology and the heart.

Part of the Video Series: Cardiology Information
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eric Frischhertz. I'm a cardiologist with Capital Cardiovascular Specialists in Austin, Texas. I'm here to answer the question, what is cardiovascular disease. Generally when people speak of cardiovascular disease, they're talking about blockages in the arteries, both in the heart and in the entire vascular system. Vascular disease which is plaque build up in the blood vessels, is generally considered to be what's called systemic disease meaning that it affects all systems of the body and not just the heart; which is why cardiovascular medicine has arisen as opposed to cardiology, which indicate that the disease affects all parts of the body rather than just the heart. Plaque build up occurs generally as a result of cholesterol deposition and there is certainly significant risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, smoking and high cholesterol which are the major risk factors for the development of plaque build up in the blood vessels. And this is what people think of when they think of cardiovascular disease.

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