To assist you in understanding the “highway” that is your vascular system, the illustration below lets you navigate the vessels that carry your blood.
Types of Vascular Diseases
Vascular disease is everywhere. Johns Hopkins Medical Center estimates 78 million Americans have the most common form of vascular disease, high blood pressure. As of 2012, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) was estimated to effect 12-15 million people in the United States, with a much larger number of undiagnosed cases.
The cost in terms of pain, disability and medical treatments is enormous. For example, healthcare costs related to PAD are more than $21 Billion annually in the US alone. Stroke costs $33 Billion on acute and related care. The costs continue to grow because so many vascular diseases are chronic with frequent complications.
Because the vascular system is so complex and far reaching, diseases can appear anywhere in the body in many different forms. Vascular disease often occurs along with other diseases like diabetes or heart disease. Use the information in the links to the left to learn more about 27 different vascular diseases including the most common: PAD, Atherosclerosis, and Carotid Artery Disease.
Common Vascular Diseases
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD – also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD) results from a progressive thickening of an artery’s lining caused by a buildup of plaque, which narrows or blocks blood flow, reducing circulation of the blood to a specific organ or region of the body.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Aneurysms are bulges that occur in weakened regions of the wall of an arterial blood vessel. The most common and serious aneurysms occur in the aorta, the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart through its branches to the entire body.
Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease that is caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining (intima) of arteries that restricts or blocks blood flow to a specific organ or region of the body.
Carotid artery disease
Carotid artery disease is defined by the narrowing or blockage of the carotidCarotid Artery Disease Statistics artery due to the build-up of plaque (which is a deposit of cholesterol, calcium, and other cells in the artery wall).