In This Chapter
Understanding what the cardiovascular system does
Identifying the major diseases that affect the cardiovascular system
Adopting certain dietary patterns to boost cardiovascular health
Understanding how your lifestyle habits directly influence cardiovascular wellness
Everyone knows how important the cardiovascular system is to health, and we all know that taking care of the heart promotes the best possible health outcomes for ourselves and others. Yet heart disease reigns supreme as the number-one cause of death worldwide, particularly in the Western world. The American Heart Association suggests that up to one-third of Americans have cardiovascular disease — a number repeated in other Western countries. And, as I suggest in Chapter 4, cardiovascular disease is becoming the number-one cause of death in the developing world, as well.
Globally, heart disease and cardiovascular health concerns affect many people, and the numbers are increasing, even as you read this chapter. My goal is to spur you to think about what you ...