Vascular disease and heart disease are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Both conditions can have serious consequences for a person's health, but they affect different parts of the body and have different causes.
What Is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease refers to any condition that affects the arteries, veins or small vessels in the body. This can include conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) affecting blood flow to the extremities and bulging, purplish varicose veins just beneath the skin’s surface. Vascular disease can be caused by a number of factors, including smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
What Is Heart Disease?
On the other hand, heart disease refers specifically to conditions that affect the heart muscle or the blood vessels that supply the heart. Some examples include coronary artery disease (CAD) from a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that supply the heart and heart failure due to a weakening of the heart muscle.
How Are Vascular and Heart Disease Similar?
Both can lead to serious health problems, such as a heart attack, stroke or even death. However, the risk factors and causes of the two conditions are different, and so are the treatments. It's important to understand the differences between these two diseases so that steps to prevent them can be taken and the best care team can be selected. If you have risk factors for either condition, then it’s time to see a physician who can deliver the proper care and treatment.
When it comes to vascular disease, the physicians at Vascular Associates of South Alabama are highly trained in a multitude of innovative vascular treatments to keep patients in optimal health.
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Main Office: 1551 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36604
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