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What does Cardiovascular mean?

Online Glossary / Quick Reference

Relating to the heart and blood vessels.

About Cardiovascular

The term "cardiovascular" pertains to the heart (cardio) and the blood vessels (vascular), and it encompasses the entire circulatory system that transports blood, nutrients, oxygen, and hormones to and from the cells in the body. This system plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis, delivering essential substances to tissues, and removing waste products.

The cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system consists of three primary components:

  • Heart: A muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body. It has four chambers (two atria and two ventricles) and functions as the central component of the circulatory system, maintaining blood flow through rhythmic contractions.
  • Blood Vessels: A network of arteries, veins, and capillaries that transport blood to and from the heart and tissues. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart, while veins return oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. Capillaries are tiny vessels where the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste occurs between blood and tissues.
  • Blood: The fluid that circulates through the cardiovascular system, carrying oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and waste products. Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

The cardiovascular system is essential for sustaining life, supporting the functions of various organs and tissues. It ensures that oxygen and nutrients reach cells, carbon dioxide and metabolic waste are removed, and hormones and other signaling molecules are distributed throughout the body.

cardiovascular health is a critical aspect of overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system involves regular physical activity, a balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and managing stress. Conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and heart failure are examples of cardiovascular diseases that can have significant impacts on health and quality of life.

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