Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects many people throughout their lives, there are some that are living with the disease and don’t even know it because they don’t go to the doctor, and even when they do, many don’t adhere to the warnings. There are a lot of programs out there for families that take care of older adults with CVD, the problem with this is most people don’t know how to access these programs. They don’t know where to go or who to talk too, and because of this many people don’t get the help that they need for their loved ones. The program that I would like to create is sort of like a workshop that is geared towards helping families that are caring for older adults, by providing them with a wealth of knowledge that will aid them in their journey of finding the help they need. I hope to show you through my research that many people can live longer, healthier lives if they knew more about CVD and how to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting it.
Cardiovascular Disease: What You Should Know!
It is important for people who have cardiovascular disease or families caring for someone with CVD to understand everything there is to know about the disease so they will be able to do what is necessary to combat the disease; my program will do just that. I would begin the workshop getting to know my audience and congratulating them on taking the first step towards a better life and by telling a true story to them in hopes that it will give them a better perspective of just how serious and real this disease is. Sometimes hearing what happened to someone else can shock a person into wanting to learn all they can so the same thing won’t happen to them.
Being told that your heart is only pumping at ten percent has got to be one of the hardest things to hear in your life. That was my brothers’ fate. He was offered a pacemaker and chose not to get it because he said since they told him it’s a 50/50 chance of survival, he said he would take his chances. It’s sad to say that he lived another three years before suffering a massive heart attack and dying, he was 44. His fate could have been different had he listened to his doctor and changed his lifestyle. My father was in his late 50’s when he was told that the only way he would live is if he received a heart transplant. He was suffering from congestive heart failure and already had three heart attacks. He had the transplant and has lived so far for 14 years.
My goal for this program is fairly simple. It would be free to the public, anyone regardless of gender; race or socioeconomic background would be able to attend if they choose to do so. At the end of the workshop there will be an answer and question session and there would be volunteers available to help anyone that is having a hard time understanding what do or what is being said. I would have a building that is centrally located so that it is easily accessible for people that don’t have transportation and may be on the bus line. My target age for this workshop is from the young old to the oldest old but will be open to anyone interested in learning about cardiovascular disease.
Types of Cardiovascular Disease
The text by Hooyman & Kiyak, states “Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which include coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, are the leading cause of death among older adults” (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2011). There are many diseases of the cardiovascular system such as:
- Coronary heart disease – is a condition in which blood to the heart is deficient because of narrowing or constricting of the cardiac vessels that supply it.
- Acute myocardial infarction – results from blockage of an artery supplying blood to a portion of the heart muscle.
- Congestive heart failure – indicates a set of symptoms related to the impaired pumping performance of the heart, so that one or more chambers of the heart do not empty adequately during the heart’s contractions (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2011).
Risks of Cardiovascular Disease
Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by changing your diet, becoming more active, and taking all medications that is prescribed to you. Once the group you are teaching know what types of cardiovascular diseases are out there and what they actually mean, you can then tell them what risks can cause the disease and how to possibly prevent it from happening. Take diet for instance, by changing the things you consume everyday you can decrease the risk of heart disease.
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One scholarly article I read suggested that eliminating saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat would most likely decrease the amount of deaths in Coronary heart disease (CHD), but according the dietary guidelines it is suggested that Americans cut back on both saturated and unsaturated fats from their diet; eating lots of red meat and eggs can also be problematic. But eating a diet high in vegetables, beans, fish and poultry could significantly lower your risks of CHD and stroke (Yu et al,, 2016).
Changing from a sedentary lifestyle to a more physical lifestyle can lower your risk of developing heart disease, such as taking a brisk walk. Another risk factor is smoking, studies in the article showed that cutting out smoking decreases your risk of CHD, and suggested that smoking cessation is more favorable, even though it can cause weight gain. All of these risks are associated with cardiovascular disease but there are times when a person is leading a healthy lifestyle and can still suffer from CVD. Genetic factors and socioeconomic factors can play a big role leading in developing the disease (Yu et al., 2016).
Another article I found very interesting did a study on how “Living in poorer neighborhoods with low levels of social cohesion and high rates of crime, violence, and disorder
have been found to be detrimental to health as they create environments that induce stress, elevate blood pressure, and may not be conducive to healthy behaviors such as physical activity” (Barber et al., 2016). This article goes hand in hand with the previous one in saying that “Low socioeconomic status (SES) has also consistently been identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and people that are living in areas where it is heavily polluted have been known to be associated with the increased risk of CVD” (Chi et al., 2016).
There were a few studies done on the risk of cardiovascular disease. One study done by (Larsson and Wolk, 2016) was “Potato consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease...”, they stated that “Potatoes is a starchy food that is something that people eat a lot of and they have a high-glycemic index and have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”. The results of that study showed no evidence that potatoes posed a risk in CVD.
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Another study was done by (Mu et al., 2016) on Dairy fat and risk of cardiovascular disease in 3 cohorts of US adults. It is stated in this scholarly article that “Saturated fat intake increases LDL cholesterol and may induce chronic inflammation, and thus may increase risk of cardiovascular disease” (Mu et al., 2016). But after studying 3 cohorts it was determined that “compared with an equivalent amount of energy from carbohydrates (excluding fruits and vegetables), eating dairy fats was not associated with risk of CVD” (Mu et al., 2016).
Throughout our text (Hooyman & Kiyak, 2011), discuss many statistics reported about heart disease such as “White men age 70 and older are more likely to report heart disease than
their Latino or African American counterparts” (p. 123). Another article talks about how “1 in 3 women at risk for CVD don’t consider themselves as being candidates of heart disease even though both men and women have died from the disease and the statistics also shows that heart disease and stroke are the first and third causes of death among women in the United States” (Vaid, et al., 2011).
As I mentioned earlier, cigarette smoking is one of the risks of cardiovascular disease. Statistics in an article written by (Shishani, Sohn, Okada, & Froelicher, 2008), says “Cigarette smokers are 2 to 3 times likely to die due to smoking related cardiovascular diseases… and ” Patients with CVD experience as much as a 50% reduction in risk of reinfarction, sudden cardiac death, and total mortality if they quit smoking” ( Shishani, et al., 2008).
Even though Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, it is my hope that with the help of educating individuals dealing with the disease, they are reassured that if you change your lifestyle and the bad habits that you have, you will begin to see a change in your health and your life. My brother never changed his eating habits and he never stopped smoking, which resulted in his unfortunate death. But after three heart attacks, and after his heart transplant, my dad finally stopped smoking. As long as you have the desire to change and the tools to point you in the right direction, you too can live a healthier life.
Barber, S., Hickson, D. A., Xu, W., Sims, M., Nelson, C., & Diez-Roux, A. V. (2016). Neighborhood Disadvantage, Poor Social Conditions, and Cardiovascular Disease Incidence Among African American Adults in the Jackson Heart Study. American Journal of Public Health, 106(12). 2219-2226, doi.10.2105/AJPH.2016.303471
Chi, G. C., Hajal, A., Bird, C. E., Cullen, M. R., Griffin, B. A., Miller, K. A., & Kaufman, J. D. (2016). Individual and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and the Association between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease. Environmental Health Perspectives. 124(12), 1840-1847. doi.10.1289/EHP199
Hooyman, N. R. & Kiyak, H. A. (2011). Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. 9th ed. Pearson Education
Larsson, S. C. & Wolk, A. (2016). Potato Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: 2 Prospective Cohort Studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 104(5). 1245-1252, doi.10.3945/ajon.116.142422
Mu. C., Yanping, L., Qi, S., An, P., Manson, J. E., Rexrode, K. M. & Hu, F. B. (2016). Dairy Fat and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in 3 Cohorts of U.S. Adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 104(5), 1209-1217. doi.10.3945/ajon. 116.134460
Shishani, K., Sohn. M., Okada, A. & Froelicher, E. (2009). Nursing Interventions in Tobacco- dependent Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 27221-242.doi.10.1891/0739-6686.27.221
Vaid, L., Wiginton, C., Borbely, D., Ferry, P., & Manheim, D. (2011). WISEWOMAN: Addressing the Needs of Women at High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Women’s Health (15409996), 20(7), 997.doi.1089/jwh.2011.2850
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