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Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is an umbrella term describing the diseases of the circulatory system (heart and blood vessels).

The most common CVD’s are: ischemic which may lead to heart attack (ischemia is a condition in which blood flow, and therefore oxygen is restricted or reduced in a part of the body heart disease [American Heart Association, n.d.]), stroke, peripheral vascular disease (peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part, other than the brain or heart, due to a narrowed or blocked blood vessel [Better Health Channel, n.d.]) or heart failure.

Rheumatic heart disease and Congenital heart disease are also common CVD’s .(Public Health Ontario, n.d.).

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women worldwide (Varghese, 2016).

Nine modifiable risk factors for CVD are: hyperlipidemia (elevated lipids such as cholesterol), smoking (current and former), hypertension (high blood pressure), abdominal obesity, diabetes, psychosocial factors (stress and depression), alcohol consumption, not enough daily fruits and vegetables, and decreased physical activity (Varghese, 2016). 


Heart and Stroke Foundation: ( 

This site provides links to heart-healthy recipes, education and other ways to improve heart health (such as better sleep).

Canadian Women’s Heart Health Center: (

This side is Canada wide and provides a wealth of information specifically for women on topics such as heart disease and conditions, heart and stroke, heart attacks, ischemic heart disease, stable coronary syndromes, and preelampsia. 

Living Well With Heart Disease:  (

This is a booklet provided by the Heart and Stroke foundation specifically designed as a guide for people diagnosed with heart disease. This is a comprehensive guide aimed at surviors and their families.

UHN Patient Tool Kit:


This resource provides links to various resources relevant for patients and their families.

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