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Authors: Sheila Hardy | Richard Gray
Date: July 2012
Journal: Nursing Standard
Issue: Volume 26, Number 45
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, primary and secondary care, risk assessment, screening, severe mental illness
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a term mainly used to describe disorders affecting the heart and/or the arteries and veins that are associated with atherosclerosis (the build up of fatty deposits and debris inside blood vessels). CVDs, such as coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease, are long-term conditions, but acute events such as myocardial infarction can occur suddenly when a vessel supplying blood to the heart or brain becomes blocked or ruptures. Lifestyle factors and the side effects of antipsychotic medication result in a high incidence of CVD in people with severe mental illness. This article explores how nurses in primary and secondary care can identify CVD risk factors and help patients reduce these risks.
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