This study session deals with one particular group of physical illnesses (the cardiovascular diseases), it introduces several themes that are shared by all chronic (long-term) conditions, including diabetes, cancers, lung diseases, visual impairment, deafness and other physical disabilities. As you will see, all of these conditions can affect the patient’s mental health.
Cardiovascular diseases are a major problem all over the world, including in developing countries. They are in the top three killers in almost every country. In this study session you will learn about cardiovascular diseases, beginning with the function and composition of blood, the anatomy and physiology of the heart and the blood vessels, the pulse, and the blood pressure. We will then describe the major cardiovascular diseases (hypertension and heart failure), and the community approach to decreasing the risks of these conditions. Finally we describe how you can help people with cardiovascular diseases by advising them about their diet.