Thrombosis is when a blood clot (thrombus) forms inside a blood vessel, potentially blocking the flow of blood through the circulatory system and causing serious health issues.
Atherosclerotic plaque is composed of fat, cholesterol, calcium and inflammatory cells that build up on the inside of the body’s arteries.
Acute coronary syndrome
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is an umbrella term for situations where blood supply to the heart is blocked.
Congenital heart disease
Congenital heart disease is a general term for problems with the heart’s structure that are present from birth. It is the most common type of birth defect.
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It has a major impact on cardiovascular function.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when too much force is applied to blood vessel walls by the blood that the heart pumps around the body.
Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle
Lifestyles have become more sedentary, and this inactivity can negatively impact health.
Excessive alcohol intake over the long-term is linked to cardiovascular disease as well as other risk factors like high blood pressure.
Smoking is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases and reduces health in general.
Obesity and overweight
Obesity and being overweight is a condition where a person carries excessive body fat that presents a risk to health.
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat produced by the liver that circulates in the bloodstream and is essential for functioning. It is also found in some foods. High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
Heart failure is when the heart doesn’t work as well as it should in pumping blood and oxygen around the body, causing extra fluid to build up in the body.
A heart attack occurs when the heart is deprived of oxygen due to a blockage in one of the coronary arteries that supplies blood to the heart.
Heart disease in the Māori community
Māori adults have higher rates of most health conditions – including coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes – and lower access to health care than non-Māori adults.
Atherosclerosis is the main underlying cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off.
Risk factors for cardiovascular disease
There is no one cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but there are several factors that increase your risk – some that can be changed, and some that cannot.
Women and heart disease
Heart disease and heart attacks are often associated with middle aged or older men. However, women are just as affected.
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting both the mother and unborn baby.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot maintain healthy blood glucose levels. People living with type 2 diabetes are over twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease, is a type of cardiovascular disease in which the narrowing of arteries results in reduced blood flow to a body part outside of the heart or brain.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition where the heart beats irregularly or rapidly.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to all the diseases of the heart and circulation, including coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke.