I decided to do my STEAM project on cardiovascular disease because there are so many types of heart disease, they are known as stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, endocarditis, and many more. The two I am interested in is CAD- coronary artery disease and hypotension, the reason is my grandfather had CAD and my father has hypotension.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common heart problem amongst adults, for men it begins after the age of 55; for woman it starts soon after menopause. CAD is caused when your heart starts to build blockages in your coronary arteries, once your heart gets blockage in your arteries this leads to decreased blood flow to your heart muscle and with that the heart will be getting decreased oxygen to the body. Some things that brings this on is having diabetes, high blood pressure, being obese, smoking, and more.  Coronary heart disease can give you pain in your chest or lead to a heart attack. Doctors will do certain testing to finally come to the conclusion of their studies and diagnose you.

The cardiologist will look at your heart and make sure the blood and circulation is doing its job correctly. The blood flow starts from the right atrium to the right ventricle, pumped into the pulmonary circuit, from the pulmonary artery it goes to were gas exchange occurs in the capillaries and the blood that’s high in oxygen and low in carbon dioxide is then sent to the left atrium. After it’s exchanged in the systemic capillaries the cycle repeats. Some of the different studies they will ask you to do is ECG, Echo, Exercise stress test, nuclear stress test, catheterization and angiogram. The treatment for CAD involves if you smoke to stop smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise, lose weight, and reduce your daily stress level. You may be started on medication as well to help stop the blockage. The possible medication can be cholesterol medication to reduce deposits on the coronary artery disease, aspirin to thin your blood, nitroglycerin, and there are more but these are the most common. The procedures to restore and improve the blood flow is angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery. The coronary artery bypass surgery is when a surgeon uses a vessel from another part of your body usually they use the saphenous vein in the leg. This vessel is used to bypass the blocked coronary artery, this helps the blood to flow better around the blocked or narrowed artery. This is the procedure they ended up doing on my grandfather.

References

 “Coronary Artery Disease: Prevention, Treatment and Research” John Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkindsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-disease/coronary-artery-disease-prevention-treatment-and-research

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020, September 08). Heart Disease Facts. Retrieved July 22, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

I created a video of how the flow of blood starts at the atrium goes to the ventricles then distributed to the body/lungs.

Flow of blood starts at the atrium

2 Comments

  1. Jenny did her project on cardiovascular disease, specifically coronary artery disease and hypotension. The interest stemmed from the fact that two people close to her suffer from these conditions. CAD is the most common heart disease among adults, starting in the mid 50’s for men. It involves blockages in the coronary arteries that lead to decreased blood flow to the heart and decreased oxygen to the rest of the body. Symptoms can include chest pain and more seriously, a heart attack. Some causes of CAD include other pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Other causes can be high weight and smoking. A doctor will do tests to ensure that blood flow is occurring properly, and if not, they will determine the form of treatment. AN EKG or Echo can also be done to identify the problem. Treatment can include reducing risk factors, like quitting smoking, implementing a healthy diet and form of exercise, reducing high stress levels, and sometimes medications. These can include cholesterol medications to reduce the deposits blocking the arteries. A surgery that can be done is coronary artery bypass surgery to correct the circulation and flow past the blockage. Her project explained the proper flow of blood through through the heart and how it is distributed to the rest of the body.

    Lauren Grahek

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