Treatment in Cardiovascular Disease

Authored by: Stanton P. Newman , Shashivadan P. Hirani , Jan Stygall , Theodora Fteropoulli

Handbook of Health Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805864618
eBook ISBN: 9780203804100
Adobe ISBN: 9781136638299


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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels. The conditions that result are congenital or acquired. For example, congenital heart disease encompasses a range of conditions where the heart is poorly formed at birth. In most cases, these conditions require some form of surgical intervention. Others are acquired and range from such disorders as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which leads to claudication of the extremities, to blockages of the coronary arteries and malfunctioning of the valves of the heart. For each of these cardiovascular disorders, there are myriad treatments, including early broad-based interventions that involve attempts to encourage general behavior change, pharmacological solutions, and different levels of invasive treatments. Which treatment is applied is often related to the severity of the condition. In some cases, such as cardiac valve disease, treatment consists of careful monitoring of the condition to determine if and when an invasive treatment is required. In others, a major event, such as a myocardial infarction (MI) is frequently followed rapidly by some form of invasive treatment, often surgery. Each treatment is designed to alleviate symptoms, reduce the risks of a major cardiac event occurring or reoccurring, and reduce mortality. In most cases, treatments are accompanied by both medication and recommendations for behavior change. In some cases, these behavioral recommendations generally involve diet and exercise. In others, such as congestive heart failure, the recommendations involve daily monitoring of signs to assess changes in severity and the need for alterations of medications or a consultation with a health care professional.

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