GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - February is National Heart Health Month and this week in our Real Men Wear Gowns campaign, we’re talking about cardiovascular disease.
“Cardiovascular disease is a massive umbrella,” says Dr. Paul Sarcia, cardiologist at HealthPartners.
Dr. Sarcia says cardiovascular disease stretches well beyond heart disease, which is often the first thing that comes to mind.
“Basically wherever blood goes, that's cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Sarcia says. “It basically includes everything from peripheral artery disease, venous disease, carotid artery disease, strokes from cerebrovascular disease, and of course coronary artery disease.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death across the globe. According to Sarcia, it also includes conditions that we hear about all the time, like high blood pressure and diabetes.
“People who have diabetes unfortunately have a greater than two times risk for cardiovascular disease. So, we kind of consider it part of being under that umbrella,” Dr. Sarcia says.
Dr. Sarcia says a lot of this stuff is preventable, which is why it's so important to take care of our health. Still, it's impacting more and more people as they age.
“About 10 precent of the population between the ages of 20 and 40 have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. That just might be high blood pressure, but it's something. As soon as you go from 40 to 60, that number jumps to 40 percent, and then beyond that you're starting to get the majority of the population has some form of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Sarcia says.