HBS109 Human Structure And Function


Case study: Cardiovascular Disease

Geoffrey is 50-years-old, works as an office manager and is obese. He spends most of his time in meetings at work and taking clients out for lunch and dinner. He has two school aged children, a new-born baby while his wife who works full time in a high profile position at a law firm. Both Geoff and his wife have very little leisure time and exercise, and they have a poor diet of fast food and quick meals. Geoff visits his GP after an episode of chest pain (angina). He is concerned that he may have suffered a heart attack and complains that he has recently had a few episodes of chest pain and shortness of breath over the past few weeks. After questioning Geoff, the GP establishes that the chest pain is triggered by physical activity or by emotional stress. After a series of tests, it is established that the pain is not due to a heart attack, but due to cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis. In addition, Geoff’s fasting blood glucose levels are pre-diabetic. Discuss the pathophysiology and risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.
The main concepts to be reviewed in your assignment are:
What is the normal structure and function of these cardiovascular system including the heart, blood vessels and blood pressure? Briefly describe how atherosclerosis affects the cardiovascular system. How could this lead to hypertension and a possible heart attack/stroke?
Why does physical activity and emotional stress exacerbate the symptoms?
Discuss how cardiovascular disease leads to a shortness of breath?
Discuss the endocrine system’s role in maintaining blood glucose levels and why overweight and obesity can lead to heart disease and diabetes. 
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