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My Vascular Health

What you need to know about vascular disease, including coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD) and other related conditions.

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Looking after your vascular health reduces your risk of vascular disease

Whether you feel you may be at risk, have been diagnosed with CAD or PAD, or are simply researching more information for a loved one, we’re here to help you take steps to protect your vascular system.

Living With Vascular Disease

Keep up-to-date with news and views on vascular health, and hear from the experts on current topics in vascular health and what they mean for you.

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The vascular system is made up of three types of vessels: arteries, veins and capillaries.

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1-3% of peripheral artery disease patients who experience lower leg pain or cramping, may have to have an amputation. In patients with diabetes, this risk increases to 5%.

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Vascular disease is a condition that affects the arteries and veins, restricting the blood flow through the body and resulting in damage to the organs or limbs.

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The average human body contains 4-5 litres of blood.

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Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide.

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Peripheral Artery Disease is a common circulatory disease where plaque build-up narrows the peripheral arteries and limits blood flow to the limbs.

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50% of people diagnosed with peripheral artery disease do not experience any symptoms, but for those who do the most common is leg pain, or cramping.

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Scientists are also undertaking research in an area called vascular protection, to explore how risks of further complications can be lowered.

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Peripheral artery disease is estimated to affect over 202 million people worldwide.

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People with cardiovascular disease (CVD) may live up to 7 years less than people without CVD.

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Arteries are the largest vessel and carry blood rich in oxygen from the lungs, away from the heart to the organs and tissues.

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The entire vascular system is 100,000 km long, enough to wrap itself around the world 2.5 times.

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Coronary artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries restricting blood and oxygen supply to the heart. Plaque may rupture creating a blood clot which can block blood flow and cause a heart attack.

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Blood, along with lymphatic fluid, is carried around the body by the vascular system delivering oxygen and other vital nutrients to the organs and tissues.

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As it is possible that symptoms of coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease may not be present in most people until serious events occur, it is important to ensure you are doing all you can to protect your vascular health.

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Coronary artery disease can be associated with an increased risk of stroke, should plaque build-up in the blood vessels and block blood flow to the brain.

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Peripheral artery disease patients are at higher risk of also having CAD and other vascular diseases. They are at risk of associated complications such as heart attack and stroke should plaque build-up and block blood flow to the heart and/or brain.

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Veins return the blood that has been transported by the arteries and capillaries back to the heart.

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Coronary Artery Disease was the case of 8.8 million deaths worldwide in 2015.

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Capillaries are the smallest vessel in the vascular system, and transport blood through the organs and tissues.

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Cardiovascular disease is a term for conditions that affect the blood vessels, especially those of the heart (coronary arteries).

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Your Questions Answered

What is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is a condition that affects the arteries and veins, restricting blood flow through the body[1].

Your Vascular System

It is important to look after your body’s network of arteries and veins, to reduce the risk or progression of vascular disease.

What is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)?

CAD occurs when there is a build-up of plaque in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart[2]. Learn more about its causes, symptoms and risks here.

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Affecting 202 million people worldwide[3], PAD occurs when a build-up of plaque in the peripheral arteries blocks blood flow to the limbs[4]. Learn more about its causes, symptoms and risks here.

What is Vascular Protection?

Vascular protection means protecting the arteries and veins to lower the risk of vascular diseases, such as CAD and PAD. Learn more about the medical advances in this area here.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is defined by a sudden decrease in blood flow within the heart. In the context of vascular disease, this is caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries due to atherosclerotic plaque. When this plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms restricting blood flow within the artery. This deprives the heart of vital oxygen, subsequently triggering a heart attack. [18]

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