Heart Disease and Stroke 6








Heart Disease and Stroke

Viviana Torres

NSG 4055 Illiness & Disease Management Across Life Span

South University

December 7, 2020



Heart Disease and Stroke

Chronic Illness and Rationale for Choice

A major chronic illness of specific interest, which has been identified as a Healthy People 2020 topic is ‘Heart Disease and Stroke.’ The rationale for choosing this illness is that heart disease is currently termed as the leading cause of death in the US while stroke ranks fifth (Healthy People 2020, 2020). The combination of stroke and heart disease often results in disability, poor life quality, and death. Despite the common nature of these conditions in the country, their prevention is possible through the control of certain risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Additionally, ensuring that individuals who experience cardiovascular problems obtain timely treatment is crucial in lowering their risk of death or disability. Thus, Healthy People 2020 (2020) asserts that it is crucial to teach people the basics of recognizing key symptoms of the chronic illness to aid more individuals to obtain the required treatment. At times it may seem unnecessary for some people as they live a healthy lifestyle but heart disease can be genetic too. All of these factors make this disease a silent but deadly killer.


1. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your satisfaction level with the healthcare services you get from your healthcare provider with regards to your chronic illness?

2. Are there any negative side effects of the current medication and therapy you are using to manage your condition?

3. Are you indulging in preventive measures such as physical activity and eating a healthy diet?

4. How confident are you in your ability to identify the signs and symptoms of an impending stroke or heart attack?

5. Kindly list three things that you require from your healthcare provider to enhance your quality of living and help you effectively manage your chronic illness.

Morbidity and Comorbidity of the Disease

According to the CDC (2020), “heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.” Approximately 30.3 million adults have been diagnosed with the problem, a figure that accounts for 12.1 percent of the adult population (CDC, 2020). Every year, 1 in every 4 deaths is related to heart conditions with 655 000 individuals dying annually from cardiovascular disease. The US spends more than $200 billion annually to deal with medicines, various healthcare services, and the lost productivity that arise from death. 6.1 percent of emergency department visits and 6.7 percent of physician office visits are attributed to heart disease. Risk factors for heart diseases include diabetes, physical inactivity, poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption.

With regards to comorbidity, heart disease is often accompanied by a stroke. This is why Healthy People 2020 (2020) has grouped the two conditions together as a chronic illness. Kendir et al. (2018) assert that comorbidity is a major reason for the high usage of healthcare resources, low quality of life, and increased mortality. Kendir et al. (2018) add that having one particular type of heart disease puts one at a high risk of getting another co-occurring cardiovascular problem. Heart disease is the leading cause of diseases such as ischemia, heart attack, aneurysm, arterial damage, heart arrhythmias. It may difficult to diagnose many of these as the patient may not show many symptoms. Consequently, it is vital for healthcare practitioners to be alert for the risk of a heart disease patient contracting other similar ailments.

Impact of the Chronic Illness and Patient Morbidity on Overall Health of the Nation

Heart disease and stroke adversely affect the overall health of the US. This chronic illness is the major reason behind many disabilities and deaths in the country. More so, the chronic illness is attributed as a major reason behind rising healthcare costs and health disparities in the US. The burden of this chronic illness is further exacerbated by the obesity epidemic, aging population, poor control of risk factors, and the limited use of prevention strategies. Thus, Mensah and Brown (2007) note the significance of the country adopting community and clinical-level guidelines with an emphasis on lifestyle, environmental, and policy changes for the facilitation of effective control and prevention of the chronic illness.

Healthy People 2020 Goals and Objectives

1. Improve cardiovascular health in adults.

2. Lower stroke-related deaths.

3. Lower the deaths related to coronary heart disease.

4. Increase the number of adult survivors of stroke who are in a rehabilitation program.

5. Increase the number of adult survivors of heart disease who are in a rehabilitation program.

These goals are easier said than done. Communicating and having a clear understanding with the patient should be the first step. Most importantly, setting a plan that rightfully fits the patients needs is critical as they must be able to understand that certain lifestyle changes will need to happen in order for progress to happen for the heart disease. Proactivity is a must for the patient at this point. The patient would need to be more active when it comes to recording certain data such as keeping blood pressure charts at home, work or/if they travel to determine if the treatment plan is working or if certain changes still need to be changed.

Stress levels influence cardiovascular disease and increase the risk for patients without it. The importance of knowing what stress can do to any person should be taught at first instance as a patient should also be aware of the dangers behind this deadly factor. Managing stress with various techniques can help prevent heart disease or keep the patient on the right track in order for the treatment plan to work.

Part of the treatment is also making sure that the medication works for the patient as it may not interact effectively with others or their body may not accept it as it should. That is why recording data at home is crucial, to make sure the plan takes course.

The patient should understand the repercussions also if they deviate from the treatment plan. Consequences can occur and worsen over time . Heart is probably the most delicate and most important muscle in the human body. Patients consequences can be acute or chronic kidney failure and/or eventually lead up to a stroke.




















CDC. (2020, September 8). Heart disease facts. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC. (2020, October 30). Heart disease. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthy People 2020. (2020). Heart disease and stroke. US Department of Health and Human Services.

Kendir, C., van den Akker, M., Vos, R., & Metsemakers, J. (2018). Cardiovascular disease patients have increased risk for comorbidity: A cross-sectional study in the Netherlands. European Journal of General Practice24(1), 45-50.

Mensah, G. A., & Brown, D. W. (2007). An overview of cardiovascular disease burden in the United States. Health Affairs26(1), 38-48.


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