The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system. Through the body's blood vessels, the heart pumps blood to all of the body's cells. The blood carries oxygen, which the cells need. Cardiovascular disease is a group of problems that occur when the heart and blood vessels aren't working the way they should. Here are some of the problems that go along with cardiovascular disease:
- Arteriosclerosis- Also called hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis means the arteries become thickened and are no longer as flexible.
- Atherosclerosis- People with atherosclerosis have a buildup of cholesterol and fat that makes their arteries narrower so less blood can flow through. Those deposits are called plaque.
- Angina- People with angina feel a pain in the chest that means the heart isn't getting enough blood.
- Heart attack- This is when a blood clot or other blockage cuts blood flow to a part of the heart.
- Stroke- when part of the brain doesn't get enough blood due to a clot or a burst blood vessel.