The survival of human organism needs blood to deliver nutrients and remove wastes from our trillions of cells. Heart is the organ that pumps the blood and a network of blood vessels. There are four chambers in the heart including the right and left atria and the right and left ventricles. These four chambers allow the heart to pump blood through systemic circulation and pulmonary circulation.
Blood consists of about 45% solids (cells) and 55% fluids (plasma). The main component of plasma is water (around 90%), and other components contain protein, nutrients, hormones, antibodies and dissolved waste. General types of blood cells include red cells, white cells and platelets. Blood transports many substances and helps to maintain homeostasis of nutrients, wastes, and gases in the body.
Blood vessel is called as the body’s highways. Blood flows quickly and efficiently from the heart to every region of the body and back again via blood vessels. There are three major types of blood vessels including arteries, capillaries and veins. The blood is taken away from the heart via arteries and returns to the heart via veins. Capillaries are very small vessels that lie between the arteries and veins.
Function of cardiovascular system
The cardiovascular system is a complex and important transport system of the human body, sometimes called the circulatory system. The cardiovascular system has several major functions that are essential to keep the body functions such as transporting substances, protecting the body, and regulating of the homeostasis as follows.
- Transporting nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to cellsand removing carbon dioxide and nitrogenous wastes;
- Protectingthe body by white blood cells, antibodies, and complement proteins that circulate in the blood and preventing pathogens from entering the body by platelets and red blood cells forming scabs to seal wounds
- Regulatingbody temperature, fluid pH, and water content of cells
Our cardiovascular system stops working properly due to many serious conditions and diseases. Cardiovascular diseases usually involve the heart, blood vessels, or both of them. There are many different types of cardiovascular disease, and the common diseases are coronary heart disease, peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), cardiovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, and congenital heart disease. Some of them are life-threatening like heart attack, stroke, and aneurysm. According to World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are major leading causes of human health and death globally, especially for adult men and women, leading to millions of deaths worldwide. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases will vary depending on the specific type of disease and individual. Typical and most common symptoms include pains or pressure in the chest, pain or discomfort in the arms, shortness of breath (also known as dyspnea), nausea and fatigue, light-headed or faint, and cold sweat.
Although the exact cause of cardiovascular diseases is not really clear, risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases can vary from genetics to lifestyle, including high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, lack of sleep, drinking too much alcohol, overweight or obesity, family history, and so on. Among them, high blood pressure is a significant risk factor.
Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease
The majority of cardiovascular diseases are preventable. The healthy lifestyle plays an essential part in maintaining your long-term cardiovascular health. A balanced diet, moderate drinking, regular exercise, a healthy weight, and no smoking all are helpful for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
When you have a particularly high risk of developing cardiovascular disease or have a serious disease, you may be recommend taking medication to control them. Cardiovascular drugs are a class of medicines that are used to treat the conditions associated with the heart or the circulatory system (blood vessels), such as high or low blood pressure, arrhythmias, blood clots, high cholesterol, and angina pectoris. Types of cardiovascular drugs are listed below.
Antihypertensive drugs:a class of drugs used to prevent the complications of high blood pressure, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. The most widely used drugs are thiazide diuretics, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs), and beta blockers.
Anticoagulants:they prevent coagulation or clotting of the blood and are used as a preventive agents in patients with a heart attack.
Examples: Enoxaparin, Dalteparin, Dabigatran, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Warfarin
Antiplatelet: they are used as preventive agents in patients with a heart attack.
Examples: Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Dipyridamole, Lopidogrel, Prasugrel, Ticagrelor
Antianginal Drugs: they are used in the treatment of angina pectoris which is a symptom of ischaemic heart disease.
Antilipemic agents – they are used in the treatment of high levels of lipids, such as cholesterol, in the blood (hyperlipidemia).
Examples: Digoxin, Diuretics