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Cardiovascular Risk Factors

The Factors that Cause Cardiovascular Diseases in People

Factors that put a person at the risk of developing heart disease are categorized into two main groups: the controllable and uncontrollable factors. Medical reports indicate that 1.2 million people experience heart attacks with an estimated 40% of those people dying from the attack. A more worrying revelation is that an estimated 300,000 people die before they even reach the hospital, this factor reveals how deadly some attacks can be. The American Heart Association claims that in the country alone, more than 7 million Americans have experienced a heart attack at some point in their lives (WebMD, 2014). Post-menopause, sex, and old age are some uncontrollable factors that increase the chances of cardiovascular disease. Caucasians are less prone to heart diseases compared to African Americans or Indian Americans. Some of the avoidable causes of heart diseases include smoking, bad cholesterol, lack of physical activity, high C-reactive protein, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, and uncontrolled stress or anger. This paper analyses the factors that cause cardiovascular diseases in people and the rationale behind the factors.

C.R, a female aged 63 years was admitted to the hospital for having back pain and having left lower extremity weakness. During the time of admission, the patient weighed 80 kgs and her recorded height was 164 cm. According to the patient's medical history, she has a hypertensive disorder, diabetes mellitus type two, several spinal stenoses, had anemia, and recently had a UTI. It is C.Rs's third visit to the ED. Her first visit to the facility was two weeks ago when she came complaining about back pain and Laminectomy. After the treatment, she came back to the ER complaining of lower back pain and left lower extremity weakness. Tests conducted at the time revealed that she had stenosis on the left common carotid artery origin, which was 90% meaning that the patient was at risk of occlusion. It was also found out that the patient suffered from extremely high-grade stenosis of the left internal carotid artery just beyond the bulb. The results of these tests show that the patient had to undergo surgery to remove the stenosis.


One factor that makes C.R be at risk of getting cardiovascular disease is hypertension. The client's medical records prove that she has a history of hypertension, which means that the pressure inside her arteries or blood vessels is high. The high blood pressure in the vessels means that the heart has to work harder while performing its task of supplying the blood vessels with the required blood. The heart pumps blood against this pressure, something that leads to the thickening of the heart muscles.

Hypertension Rationale

Medical reports reveal that there are close to 970 million people in the world who suffer from elevated hypertension (American Heart Association, 2014). At the level of 140 mmHg, a patient suffers from diastolic blood pressure while at 90 mmHg he or she is suffering from systolic condition. Systolic blood pressure is a representation of the maximum pressure at the arteries during a muscle contraction and the diastolic blood pressure is the opposite of this concept.

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Stroke is one of the heart diseases likely to attack the patient due to her hypertension. The patient has been diagnosed with spiral stenosis, which makes her experience back pains. One of the reasons for this back pain is that the blood vessels at the back get hurt due to the blood pressure in them, and it would be correct to conclude that the patient will soon experience heart problems. Her heart is forced to work more in order to pump blood to her body parts and this can make her heart stop or experience stroke. The fact that she is old, smokes, and lacks physical activity makes it more dangerous that she has hypertension (Mayo Clinic, 2014). These three factors only increase the chances of the patient getting a stroke. Hypertension becomes more dangerous if the patient is stressed as it makes the heart work even harder, thus, increasing the patients chances of getting the stroke. The patient is anxious about the forthcoming surgery, and this makes her develop stress. She worries whether the surgery will end her suffering since she has in the past undergone different surgeries. However, her previous surgeries have not been effective as she expected. It is worth noting that the patient is not under a diet, which could reduce her hypertension disease. C.R is under the diabetic persons diet since she is diabetic. It is important that the nurses put the patient of a diet due to the uncertainty about the cause of her hypertension disease. The patient should strive to change her lifestyle, as it is well documented that she is an ardent tobacco smoker, does not engage in any physical activity, and that she is has weight problems (World Heart Foundation, 2014). To help her deal with hypertension, the patient is under constant I tablet of Cozaar. In addition to being given the medication, the patient is put through different physical activities after which she is given the medication. Records prove that the medication and the physical activities that the patient is being put under are working.


The second factor that makes C.R be at a risk of having cardiovascular disease is her diabetic condition. The patients medical records indicate that she is suffering from diabetes mellitus and thus, is under medication to help control her blood sugar level. In her timetable, she is regularly given medication that helps reduce blood sugar level. The patient is given 4 units of humalog to help control her diabetes. The humalog quantity is administered to the patient 15 minutes before taking any breakfast or food. If a persons diabetic condition is not controlled, it will damage the blood vessels and increase the chances of developing atherosclerosis (World Heart Foundation, 2014). Diabetes increases the chances that the patient has of suffering a cardiovascular aliment and thus, it is important that she control her diabetic condition. Moreover, it is worth noting that people who have diabetes have a worse prognosis than those who do not and this increases their chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke. One main reason why diabetes is dangerous in regards to cardiovascular disease is that it damages a persons nerves and blood vessels, which make a heart attack become silent. A person may not experience chest pains making it hard for him to detect when he experiences a sudden heart attack. C.Rs diabetes is at a crucial stage, as she is regularly given medication to help her control her blood sugars.

Diabetes Rationale

The patient has been put under regular physical exercises to help reduce her weight, which is helpful when dealing with diabetes. In the nursing plan, one of the nursing diagnoses meant for her is the issue of imbalanced nutrition that is thought to be the main reason why she is obese. To help her treat the diabetic condition, the patient has to lose some weight. To help the patient deal with her weight problems, she is expected to state the factors that she feels led to her obese condition. In the work plan, the patient should start engaging in physical activities such as pushing herself around the hospital. C.R is also expected to maintain a food journal intended to make her eat the foods with the correct nutritional components. Furthermore, it is important to impart the patient with the knowledge of the U.S. Dietary guidelines for people in her condition (American Heart Association, 2014). It is dangerous for a diabetic person not to engage in physical activities. The exercise plan made for the patient is an indication that she does not engage in physical activities, a factor that is dangerous for a diabetic person. Through exercises, she can control her diabetes because it will be easy for her to check on her weight. It is also dangerous that the C.R is a smoker since it increases the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases.

From the nursing diagnosis, it is clear that the patient does not engage in any physical activities something, which becomes the third factor that could make her get a heart disease. One of the likely diseases that she could get is a heart attack (Mayo clinic 2014). It is important that the nurse put the patients through regular physical exercise regardless of her age and condition. It is imperative that she does not sit idle as this increases her chances of getting a heart attack. Although the patient is experiencing pain in her leg, she could move about the hospital in a wheelchair. It is imperative that the patient engages in physical activities following her hypertension and diabetic conditions. Physical exercise will help her minimize the threats posed by these ailments. Most importantly, it will reduce her chance of getting a cardiovascular disease. The patients diabetes is responsible for damaging her nerve cells, and this explains why she cannot tell of any chest pain. Thus, it is necessary that the patient engages in physical activities. She patient will also lose some weight while engaging in physical exercises.

Cholesterol Levels and Their Rationale

The fourth risk factor that the patient faces is the high cholesterol levels in her system. It is evident that the patient does not follow a healthy diet and thus, a food journal is recommended to her. Moreover, there are plans that are underway to help her know the U.S. Dietary guidelines helpful in making her eat a balanced diet. The patient does not consume food that has a good proportion of nutrients and this is only increases her cholesterol levels. It is important that the patient works hard to ensure that she has a cholesterol level of less than 50 mg/dl HDL as it is the correct and healthy amount. It is imperative that she tries to have a LDL quantity of less than 130 mg/dl (American Heart Association, 2014). It is estimated that people with diabetes bear a 10-year risk of getting a heart disease as the LDL level is above 190 mg/dl. The LDL levels value in individuals having diabetes and thus it is important for patients to have individualized treatment from a doctor who has carefully monitored their diabetic condition. C.R does not eat healthy, and this one of the reason why her cholesterol levels are high.

Smoking Habit and Its Rationale

The fifth risk factor that the patient faces is her smoking habit. People who smoke are at a danger of developing heart diseases such as stroke. The patients records reveal that the patient suffers from clog in her arteries and veins and this increases her chances of getting a heart attack. The patients smoking habit makes it hard to fight with the diabetic condition that she has and this increases the possibility of her suffering a heart disease (Mayo Clinic, 2014). The fact that the patient is not engaged in any physical exercise increases the chances of developing a heart disease.

Obesity and Its Rationale

Following C.Rs BMI, it is evident that she is obese and this constitutes the sixth risk factor that could make her develop a cardiovascular disease. Obesity increases her chances of having a heart attack. The physical exercises that the patient is being put through at the facility are helpful in reducing the chances that the patient has of getting a heart disease (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Poor eating habits also lead to a person becoming obese and thus, it is important that a person follows a healthy diet. The food journal that the patient is required to have and follow is helpful in reducing the fat quantities in her diet, which will subsequently result to the patient losing weight. Moreover, it is dangerous that the patient is obese considering that she is diabetic. Obesity makes it hard for people to minimize and regulate their diabetic condition. Diabetes has the effect of ending the nerves of a person and thus it would be hard for C.R to detect a possible heart attack, as she cannot experience the occasional chest pains.


Stress is the seventh risk factor that C.R gets a heart disease. Regular pain experienced in her leg and back area forms the main reason why she has stress. The efficiency of the upcoming surgery is another reason why she has stress, as she is not sure if it will work. Stroke and heart attack are the two main cardiovascular diseases that a person may experience. To help her deal with stress, the patient is being given drugs that would help her sleep to help avoid the becoming stressed. There are techniques that C.R could use to help reduce the stress. It is important that the patient reduces her stress levels as it helps in dealing with her hypertension disease. Hypertesntion increases a persons chance of getting a cardiovascular disease (American Heart Association 2014). One of the common cardiovascular diseases that people with hypertension are likely to suffer is stroke or heart attack. The more her heart is forced to work, the higher the chances that the patient will get a heart attack.

Stress Rationale

Through the patients medical records, it is easy to tell the risk factors that can result to a cardiovascular ailment, which health practitioners can treat through close and constant supervision. It is important to note that the patient is old and thus, should be attended carefully. It is recommendable to suggest to her simple and easy physical activities that would not lead to health complications (World Heart Foundation, 2014). C.Rs stay at the facility is probably the best option as it is easy for the nurses to take care of her and ensure that they achieve the objects laid out in the care plan. The patient is in a delicate state as she suffers from more than one ailment and this increases her chances of having a heart disease. However, it is possible for the patient to reduce the numerous risks of developing a cardiovascular disease. Considering her age, it is important that the patient keeps close contact as it helps in the monitoring her condition. The observer will help the patient follow instructions given by the doctors and by so doing, reduces her chances of getting a cardiovascular disease. It is quite obvious that C.R is responsive to directives given to her, and this is one of the reasons that made her diabetic condition improve while at the hospital. Thus, it would require proper monitoring.