Stopping disease at the source
Vascular disease is able to develop in many different ways through both preventable and unpreventable means. For some, it's as simple as being born from a family blood line that has a previous history with vascular conditions - for others, it's about controlling their own risk factors, like not choosing to smoke, drink alcohol, or eat a high-fat or high-sodium diet.
However, in many cases of vascular disease development, it often stems from a variety of previously developed conditions - yet few recognize, without already knowing, what those conditions that can cause vascular disease until it's too late. With that being said, in order to help increase the education of these prior conditions that can ultimately result in others, here are the five most prominent risk factors for the development of vascular disease.
1. Heart Disease
Because of the heart's incredibly vital connection to the vascular system (the heart pumps oxygenated blood through the arteries, circulating all throughout the body, and veins bring the oxygen-poor blood back to the heart to be supplied again), it's undeniable that any condition affecting the organ will have a devastating effect on the vascular system as a result. Heart disease, in any of its forms, can result in a variety of vascular conditions, including abdominal or thoracic aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and renal artery stenosis.
2. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, can result in a number of vascular diseases, including peripheral vascular disease, stroke, mesenteric ischemia, or renal artery stenosis. If high blood pressure is persistent enough in the body, the abnormal elevation of pressure in the arteries can result in extensive damage - damage that affects nearly 50 million people per year.
Infection is another way to contract vascular conditions - whether it's the result of a previously developed condition, or through an isolated incident, such as injury or surgery. When unwanted outside sources come into contact with the blood stream, they are able to travel throughout the vascular system, wreaking havoc on the arterial walls - a common source for the development of many vascular conditions, including mesenteric ischemia, mesenteric venous thrombosis, renal artery stenosis, abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm, etc.
Cancer is a major risk factor for multiple forms of vascular disease, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. In the case of either of these conditions, cancer is able to cause irregular blood clotting within a deep vein system (DVT). However, if a large enough blood clot in the deep vein system were to break off, travel, and dislodge in the lung, it can cause a pulmonary embolism - a condition that results in death in many instances.
Finally, though to some, obesity may seem like a condition that is developed over time due to poor diet and lack of exercise, to others, obesity is a hereditary trait that can be passed down through a family bloodline. Because of this, if left unchanged, obesity is able to cause a plethora of vascular conditions as a result, including peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and spider or varicose veins.