Psychology 2036B- Chapter 9.docx

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16 Apr 2012
Psychology 2036B- Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Cardiovascular Disease
Opening story- news reported dies from a heart attack. Caught many by surprise because it was
believed that his condition had been under control. Measures taken by doctors and Russert did
not prevent the very thing that they were trying to avoid (a fatal heart attack)
Coronary artery disease- a disease caused by plaque, a composite made up of fat, cholesterol,
calcium and other substances that builds up in the arteries
Asymptomatic CAD- no warning signs of illness
Stress test- measures the electrical activity of the heart while the individual exercises
Strong muscle that is the focal point of the body’s circulatory system. Circulates blood
throughout the body which carries oxygen and other nutrients needed by the other organs and
systems to function properly
Blood also carries carbon dioxide (waste) for the lungs to expel
Heart has two sides and a total of 4 chambers (2 per side)- 2 atria and 2 ventricles
How it works: blood enters on the right side through one of the two upper chambers, the right
side receives and transports used blood (deoxygenated)
Blood enters through the right atrium right ventricle pulmonary arteries to make its way to
the lungs. Lungs reoxygenate the blood pumped from the lungs into the heart through the left
pulmonary veins hearts left atrium. The blood, now with a fresh supply of oxygen passes
through the aorta to provide oxygenated blood to the organs.
Capillaries- vessels carrying blood to other organs (connects arteries), thin walls to allow oxygen
and other nutrients in the blood to pass through
3 Key Points about Cardiovascular Disease: 1) plaque narrows the passageways of arteries and
reduces volume of blood flowing to and from the heart 2) plaque hardens the vessels and
reduces the flexibility of a normal artery 3) plaque buildup is caused by poor diet, this is
preventable. Therefore its important to motivate people to adopt healthy eating habits
4 Types of Cardiovascular Disease: (linked to lifestyle choices) coronary artery disease, cardiac
arrests, cerebrovascular disease and hypertension
Most common type, leading cause of heart attacks
Condition in which the arteries that pump blood to and from the heart become partially or
completely obstructed
Impeded blood flow means less blood for the heart and other organs
Can also damage heart tissues and produce: chest pain, shortness of breath, heart attacks
(myocardial infarction) 296
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Modified risk factors: individuals can modify (increase or decrease) their risk in cardio disease by
changing behaviours
Caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that happens when the heart fails
to pump blood to other organs
Rhythm determined by: electrical impulses from sinus nodes (cells in the right atrium that serves
as a pacemaker)
Nodes send electrical currents through heart, synchronizing heart rate and pumping blood to
other organs. Interrupted signal= cardiac arrest
More than 80% of cases, cardiac arrest is accompanied by history of CAD
Cardiac arrest and heart attack are not necessarily the same thing
Cardiac arrest: makes someone unconscious and is fatal if heart is not jolted back to rhythm ,
time is important though
Two processes to restart heart: 1)CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or 2) AED (automated
external defibrillators)
CPR: stimulates heart and provides oxygen
AED: send an electric charge to the heart which mimics the electrical charge of the heart and
restarts circulation process
Cerebrovascular Disease: affects vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain
2 Types: 1) Ischemic Stroke- interruption of blood flow to the brain or 2) Hemorrhagic Stroke-
rupture of a blood vessel in the brain 298
Hemorrhagic can be prompted by hypertension- excessive force of blood pumoing through the
blood vessels
High blood pressure (HBP): systolic pressure, amount of pressure exterted when the atria and
ventricles are contracting to force blood out of the heart’s chamber and the diastolic pressure:
the amount of pressure exerted when the atria and ventricles relax and fill with blood, are
higher than normal blood pressure ranges
Normal blood pressure: systolic pressure of 120 or fewer millimeters of mercury and a diastolic
pressure of 80 millimeters or fewer of mercury
Hypertensive people will usually show signs of an enlarged heart, harder for it to perform its
basic functions
“the silent killer
Symptoms are very non specific *general* and could include- headaches, heart palpitations,
sudden and unexplained nose bleeds and a general feeling of ill health p.300
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