Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Understanding cardiovascular disease….

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) refers to a group of heart and blood vessel disorders. It can increase the risk for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, cardiac rhythm problems, thus resulting in decreased quality of life and decreased life expectancy. The silent killer - Hypertension (high blood pressure), is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

When doctors use the term 'Cardiovascular Disease’ they usually mean, diseases of the heart or blood vessels that are caused by atheroma (the fatty material which forms deposits in the arteries).



Know what is atheroma (atherosclerosis)….

Patches of atheroma are small fatty lumps that develop within the inside lining of the arteries (blood vessels). Atheroma is also known as 'hardening of the arteries'. Patches of atheroma are often called 'plaques' of atheroma. Over months or years, patches of atheroma can become larger and thicker, making an artery narrower, thereby reducing the blood flow through the artery. 

Angina for example, is narrowing of the coronary (heart) arteries with atheroma.

Sometimes a blood clot (thrombosis) forms over a patch of atheroma and completely blocks the blood flow. Depending on the artery affected, this can cause a heart attack, a stroke or other serious problems.

Cardiovascular diseases caused by atheroma…..

The cardiovascular diseases that can be caused by atheroma include: 

Heart disease: The term 'Heart disease' or 'Coronary heart disease' is used for conditions caused by narrowing of one or more of the coronary (heart) arteries by atheroma. This can cause angina, heart attack and heart failure. Heart disease is common in people over 50 years.

Cerebro-vascular disease - Stroke and TIA:  Cerebro-vascular disease means a disease of the arteries in the brain. This can lead to TIA (transient ischemic attack) or a stroke. A stroke means that part of the brain is suddenly damaged. The common cause of stroke is blocking of an artery in the brain by a blood clot (thrombus) which usually forms over some atheroma. A TIA is a disorder caused by temporary lack of blood supply to a part of the brain, resulting in weakness in a part of body. If left untreated it can progress to stroke (paralysis).

Peripheral vascular disease: Peripheral vascular disease is narrowing due to atheroma that affects arteries other than in the heart or brain. The arteries that take blood to the legs are the most commonly affected.

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

Risk factors of developing atheroma……

Everybody has some risk of developing atheroma. However, certain 'risk factors' increase the risk.

Lifestyle risk factors that can be prevented or changed:

  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity (a sedentary lifestyle)
  • An unhealthy diet and eating too much salt
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoking 


Treatable or partly treatable risk factors:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglyceride
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases 
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)


Fixed risk factors - ones that you cannot alter:

  • A strong family history – Individual’s father or brother who developed heart disease or a stroke before they were 55, or an individual’s mother or sister who developed heart disease or a stroke before they were 65
  • Being a male
  • An early menopause in women
  • Age : The older you become, the more likely you are to develop atheroma
  • Ethnic group : For example, people who live in the UK with ancestry from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka have an increased risk.

If you have a fixed risk factor, you can make definitely extra efforts to tackle any lifestyle risk factors that can be changed.

Assessing your cardiovascular health risk……

It is important to detect cardiovascular disease as early as possible so that management with counselling and medicines can begin.

The following people should be assessed to find their cardiovascular health risk:

  • All adults aged 40 or more 
  • Adults of any age who have:

 - A strong family history of early cardiovascular disease

- A first degree relative (parent, brother, sister, child) with a serious hereditary 

Lipid disorder. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia or familial combined hyperlipidaemia

  • Obese and Over weight adults having a BMI of 23 or more
  • Diabetics
  • Hypertensives
  • Smokers
  • Alcoholics

Knowing about Assessments

A Doctor will –

  • Advise a blood test to check your cholesterol and glucose (sugar) level
  • Measure your blood pressure and your weight
  • Ask you, if you smoke
  • Ask, if there is a history of cardiovascular disease in your family. If so, at what     

       age the disease started in the affected family members

  • A score is calculated based on these factors plus your age and your sex. An

     adjustment to the score is made for certain other factors such as strong family history         and ethnic origin

Comprehending the assessment score….

You are given a score as a % chance. For example, if your score is 30% this means that you have a 30% chance of developing a cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. This is the same as saying a 30 in 100 chance (or a 3 in 10 chance). In other words, in this example, 3 in 10 people with the same score as yours  will develop a cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. 

Note:The score cannot say if you will be one of the three. It cannot predict what will happen to each individual person. It just gives you the odds.

You are said to have a:

High risk - If your score is 20% or more. That is, 2 in 10 chance or more of developing a cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years 

Moderate risk - If your score is 10-20%. That is, between 1 in 10 chance

Low risk - If your score is less than 10%. That is, less than 1 in 10 chance

Who should be treated to reduce their cardiovascular health risk?

Treatment to reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease is usually offered to people with:

  • Risk assessment score of 20% or more
  • An existing cardiovascular disease (to lower the chance of it getting worse or of developing a further disease)
  • If you have diabetes, the time that treatment is started to reduce cardiovascular risk depends on factors such as: your age, how long you have had diabetes, your blood pressure and if you have any complications of diabetes.
  • Certain kidney disorders


It’s important to know if losing weight will help prevent or improve your condition and its complications….

The increased health risk of obesity is most marked when the excess fat is mainly in the abdomen rather than on the hips and thighs. Asians are prone to Metabolic Syndrome, with a high risk for developing diabetes and subsequently heart disease and stroke. A waist measurement of 90 cm or above for (Asian) men and 80 cm or above for (Asian) women is a significant health risk. 

There is evidence that even modest weight loss (e.g., 5–10 %) can reduce cardiovascular disease risk even when the individual remains in the obese range. Few findings from the study are cited below:

5–10 % weight loss showed significant reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. 

Those who lost >10 % experienced significantly greater improvements in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol than losing less. 

For higher-risk individuals, those who lost 5–10 %, significantly reduced fasting glucose, triglycerides, and total cholesterol; those who lost >10 % improved on all risk factors (except HDL cholesterol) and to a significantly greater degree than those losing less. 

5 to 10 % weight losses produced improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, but greater weight losses were associated with even greater improvement.

VLCC Luxe experts will help you manage your condition…..

VLCC Luxe experts can help you to manage this condition by helping you to lose weight and advising appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle. 

All clients who join VLCC Luxe go through an intensive program. Here the clients' detailed medical history, lifestyle, past medical & family history are noted. A detailed medical examination is then performed. Following this, a Body Composition Analysis (BCA) is conducted by the latest technology analyzer. Detailed analysis of the body composition assists in customizing the Wellness programme as per individualized requirements.

Diet plan for clients with/at risk of heart problems takes into consideration dietary guidelines focusing on controlling portion size, consumption of fruits & vegetables, whole grains, non- fat dairy products, lean meat, fish and diet low in saturated fat, total fat , low in sodium, reduction of salt intake and refined carbohydrates. 

Once our Counselor guides you on which foods to eat more and which foods to limit, you will be on a disciplined regime aimed towards weight loss and a heart-healthy diet, which includes regular physical activity and avoiding harmful use of alcohol. Medical counseling and aligned line of treatment is implemented and closely supervised by the Medical Doctor.

An exercise programme as per individual's lifestyle is charted out by our specialized physiotherapists. It is important to expend energy besides controlling the caloric intake. This is achieved by both passive & active exercise. The right kind of exercise further helps in bringing down the blood pressure, a leading risk factor for CVD. Regular physical activity helps in energy expenditure and also reduces the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. 

The physiotherapist and counselors at VLCC Luxe plan an exercise program comprising of both active and passive exercise considering your lifestyle, fitness level and health condition.

Studies have shown that general and central obesity are predisposing risk factors for Hypertension and CVD. Normal weight with central obesity is also associated with CVD risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes.

Overall weight loss and reduction in Waist circumference, Visceral Fat Area and Waist–Height ratio, are important indices to measure central obesity, helps in the management of risk factors. VLCC Luxe’s localized fat reduction programme, executed by trained physiotherapists and therapists, is focused on plummeting that disproportionate band of excess fat on your waist besides improving skin laxity and toning the muscles. So don’t hesitate , take a step forward, discuss your Medical issues with our Counselor and Medical Doctor, join the “Wellness Programme” curated just for you and enjoy a heart - healthy life!

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