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The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

What is the bur­den of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease? An es­ti­mated 17.5 mil­lion peo­ple die of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases ev­ery year. Eighty per cent of the deaths oc­cur in low- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries.

What causes car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease? There are many risk fac­tors that con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Some peo­ple are born with con­di­tions that pre­dis­pose them to heart dis­ease and stroke, but most peo­ple who develop car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease do so be­cause of a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors such as poor diet, lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and smok­ing, to name just three.

The more risk fac­tors you ex­pose your­self to, the higher the chance of de­vel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease. Many of the risk fac­tors for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease cause prob­lems be­cause they lead to ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis. Ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis is the nar­row­ing and thick­en­ing of ar­ter­ies which de­vel­ops for years without caus­ing symp­toms. It can hap­pen in any part of the body. Around the heart, it is known as coro­nary artery dis­ease, in the legs it is known as pe­riph­eral ar­te­rial dis­ease.

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