My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Understanding cardiovascular diseases
Your heart beats around 100,000 times every day and, in that time, pumps about 23,000 litres of blood around your body. But what happens when it doesn't work as well as it should? This free course, Understanding cardiovascular diseases, explains what happens in cardiovascular disease, when the heart's performance is affected, how the normal function of blood vessels is impaired, and what treatments are available. Whether you are a patient, relative, friend or healthcare professional, you will find the course interesting.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- describe, in general terms, the different types of cardiovascular diseases, making clear the difference between the terms cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and coronary heart disease (CHD)
- identify different areas of the body likely to be affected by cardiovascular diseases
- locate information on the internet, and understand and interpret data on disease occurrence
- recognise the importance of historical and geographical factors in the changing profile of cardiovascular disease incidence worldwide
- identify and list a number of risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 What are cardiovascular diseases?
- 1 What are cardiovascular diseases?
- 1.1 A simple introduction
- 1.2 Broad defintions of cardiovascular diseases
- 1.3 There's a lot of it about: the global picture of cardiovascular diseases
- 1.4 Decline of cardiovascular diseases in Western society?
- 1.5 Economic impact of cardiovascular diseases
- 2 Studying cardiovascular diseases
- 3 Risk factors
- 4 Prevention is better than cure
- 5 Early warning signs
- 6 When things go wrong
- 7 Immediate treatment of cardiovascular diseases
- 8 Long-term treatment, and living with cardiovascular diseases
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 Test your knowledge
- 11 Additional resources
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
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.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
15 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.