Understanding cardiovascular diseases
Understanding cardiovascular diseases

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Understanding cardiovascular diseases

4 Prevention is better than cure

4.1 Introduction

Prevention strategies for cardiovascular diseases are often referred to as primary or secondary. This distinction is made because recommendations for the patient are slightly different, depending on whether cardiovascular diseases have already been established. Primary prevention involves preventing the onset of disease in individuals without symptoms. Secondary prevention refers to the prevention (or delay) of death or recurrence of disease in those with symptoms.

For all coronary heart disease patients who die within a month of the onset of symptoms, about three more have died before even reaching hospital. This emphasises the need to recognise the warning signs and work on prevention of the causes of cardiovascular diseases. The health problems caused by cardiovascular diseases worldwide have led to a great deal of research into both causes and treatment. (The scale and depth of the research can be demonstrated by searching various resources on the internet, such as PubMed (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2007).) There is now better evidence to guide the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease than there is for most other major diseases, and in the UK this has led to the development of guidelines for the health service.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371