Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay

Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay


The primary assessment of patients is an essential part of clinical care. It is advised that interventions options are discussed with the patient to reduce the risk incidences of the cardiovascular diseases and probable risk of other illnesses (diabetes). With knowledge of the combined risk factors, both the nurse and patient work to effective prevention and care of the cardiovascular disease.  Upon concurrence, choices about lifestyle, diet and exercises can be initiated.Family history is an important aspect when evaluating early risk for cardiovascular disease. The danger of early onset is common among persons whose relatives are affected (Alberti, &Zimmet, 2006).

Plan of the Study

David’s age of 56 years is a concern because research shows that individuals whose families develop cardiovascular conditions before attaining 60 of age years are at more risk of early onset of heart-related conditions(Alberti, &Zimmet, 2006). The early start is worsened by David’s social behavior associated with alcohol intake.


The clinical assessment approach is recommendable for individuals with the higher risk factor as this will help David in preventing further risks exposures. An apt lifestyle adjustments like the diet, body exercise and diabetic control is extensively discussed with the patient. Though David’s history indicates earlier family exposure to the heart condition, it is prudent to share that information as it will form guidance in knowing the level of exposure and age risk factors. Family risk factors identifiable are diabetes and coronary heart diseases for years below 65years among others. Besides other posing risk factors, the individual’s personal history is necessary to establish precipitants to cardiovascular-related conditions.

The assessment is varied and includes evaluation of factors such as smoking habits and alcohol use, gestational diabetes, blood pressure levels and the heart beat (Szabov, 2012). Combined personal questions, laboratory examinations and physical assessments help in the diagnosis and critical care in David’s case. It is practical to correlate readings for blood pressure and non-fasting or fasting glucose logged during the previous years so as to compare with the ones during a visit. Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay.

Absolute risk defines the individual chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease (diabetes, stroke and arterial diseases). In most cases, the symptoms are not very definite hence it is advisable to perform a routine test to ascertain the risk level and appreciate the available preventive measures that can improve individual’s body health. David’s case seems to present early symptoms, and initiation of a screening test and practical precautions is highly preferred.

A higher variance depicts greater risk level and should be taken seriously with respect to the presenting symptoms. Frequent tests can be advised for David so as to check severity and progress, however, those who present higher risks need to be reassessed soon and as often as it is practicable (Braun, 2006). The care clinical nurse may have an interactive talk about his/her risk evaluations with the patient and discuss the risk level as this will help David benefit from an improved change in lifestyle.

Considering the condition of David’s wife and the underlying responsibility he is likely to develop elevated pressure due to stress. Counseling is critical to bringing back hope and understanding of the situation at hand. The recommendations to avoid strenuous activities and to quit alcohol permanently are practices that will help David in managing both the pressure levels and diabetes.

Case StudyAnalysis

The chest tightness with sweating in David’s case is an indication of the advancement of a heart condition. Occasionally the heart attacks appear to be impulse and severe, but in a majority of instances, it starts out to be slow with moderate discomfort especially during strenuous exercise as in David’s case. The chest pain is related to coronary heart attack. The symptoms normally presented take the distinct form of uncomfortable pressure, ‘jamming’ and pain of the muscles (Braun, 2006).

Regarding David’s case as narrated and observed during a face to face encounter with a clinician, it is advisable to undertake the following medical tests into consideration. Laboratory tests of the lipids and cholesterol (both HDL and LDL). These are used when calculating the ratios in cardiovascular risk assessment (CVDRA). The aggregate cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio measured is usually more sensitive to cardiovascular disease when compared to the total cholesterol (TC). During calculations, the total HDL and low-density lipid (LDL) in the blood are summed together to aggregate the overall quantity of cholesterol in the body.

It is therefore, signifies that low levels of HDL accounts for higher levels of LDL. While ratios above 10 are considered to be precipitants of risk factors, the levels of HDL should be maintained to 2.5 and below (Hoffmann, 2003). Though other complications may be necessitous to manage, David’s condition requires screening of the arterial vessels because he probably may have developed a coronary heart disease. David’s pain while exercising can be a potential sign of coronary heart disease in the absence of initial tests as his family history also indicate that the father was a victim of the cardiovascular ailment.

Interestingly not all chest pains can lead to coronary heart disease (CHD). Other conditions that can cause pain may be due to blocking of the arterial vessels in the lung, panic attack, infections of the arteries and inflammations in the vessels and the surrounding tissues of the heart.

The anatomy of the heart comprises of arteries that handle the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart. When plaque in the form of a blockade builds up along the arteries, it compromises the flow of the blood. A medical condition called atherosclerosis ensues over time leading to narrowing of the arteries and thus reducing the flow of oxygenated blood into the vessels.

A heart attack is experienced when the flow of oxygenated blood to a section of heart muscle is not sufficient for the body’s use. This leads to serious health issues that can result in early death (Couzin, 2007). Heart failure and arrhythmias are health problems that are frequently associated with heart failure. In David’s case, it is important to record the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. Abnormal rates and rhythm signify failure in the arterial vessels.

When the arterial endothelium comes into contact with bacterial infections and other risk substances (alcohol) as in David’s case, they increase the adhesion of molecules promoting the flow of blood to the inner arterial walls. Such an interaction triggers the chemoattractants cytokines and leads to clumping of these substances within the endothelium, thereby causing atherosclerosis. Protein mediators also cause inflammation of the endothelium.

Due to a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD), it presents mixed onset in both young and old populations, therefore, the need to screen those who are at increased risk. Technological advances in the use of the noninvasive imaging techniques of CT and MRI, however, make it possible to view the heart while in both static and motion (Hoffmann, 2003). An evaluation can be done without the need of using invasive methods. This helps in identifying the exact region of the artery that is blocked. Early diagnosis and medical care of coronary artery disease contribute to limit its effect on other tissue parts.

The risk of contracting cardiovascular medical conditions depends on many risk factors including the family history and precipitants (use of alcohol) that may aggravate the condition (Szabov, 2012).  For example individuals with family history of cardiac conditions and are habitual abusers of drugs (cigarettes and alcohol) are more prone to higher chances of cardiac arrests.  These individuals are advised to undergo noninvasive calcium screening so as to assist in preventive care (Hoffmann, 2003).

David’s case is of interest and calcium screening (CT scan) is relevant in preventing further escalation. It is advisable for him to stop the use of alcohol. This high-risk profile can be managed by the early start of preventive therapy.However, it is necessary to test so as to reduce the customary risk factors through improved diet, body exercise, and alcohol intake cessation. All these should be aimed at improving cardiovascular health.

David’s case requires early determination of what characterizes the endothelium lesions of his coronary artery. Noninvasive CT scan technique is used to obtain information such as the presence of a disease within the arterial vessels. In as much as it is advisable to go for a CT scan to determine the level of coronary artery calcification, its significance still lies on the blocking of the arterial endothelium (Couzin, 2007). Features such as the structure (size shape and configuration) with absolutely no motion of the arteries can be visualized and quantified. The CT scan technique serves ideally for David because it’s relatively simple and suitable for administering. The whole process takes about thirty minutes with minimal preparation and limited restrictions to medications before or after a test.

Determination of calcification in the endothelium is essentially used to interpret presence and absence of calcium in the coronary arteries. Traces of calcium follows its presence in the coronary artery thereby destructive as it results in heart diseases.  The Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease occurs when calcification is detected when no apparent symptoms are evident. A test is considered to be positive if calcification is detected within the coronary arteries.

The scores obtained are used to categorize the extent of calcification as minimal, moderate or extensive in individuals. These scores usually numbered 10, 11 to 99, and 100 to above 400 indicate the amount of atherosclerosis. A positive test is considered when calcification is identified within the coronary arteries and negative when there is an absence of calcification. Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay.

Though this result might not project the early onset of the disease it guides a clinical care for heart condition patients (Hoffmann, 2003). A positive test commonly indicated in men of 55 years and above is detectable within the score ranges and indicates risk of myocardial infarction even when there are little or no symptoms. David’s condition is probably of a myocardial infarction in the early stages. A negative test, however, does not signify an absence of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries.

Management of David’s (case study) Condition.

Although there is no known cure for coronary heart disease, (CHD) various interventions are used to help in the management of symptoms so as to reduce the associated risks.  The known combined approach to coronary heart disease includes surgery medicine and modification of various lifestyle habits. All these combinations are integral for reducing the symptoms while improving the functioning of the heart; however, some treatments have their disadvantages. The lifestyle habits that can help David manage his cardiovascular condition hence reduce future risk include quitting alcohol use, eating healthy diets and performing regular exercises (Usherwood, 2013).

Foods that are likely to increase the level of cholesterol in the blood should be avoided. Foods that have high amounts of saturated fat (cholesterol) include meat pies, sausages, and cheese. Diets that trigger diabetes are also advisable to be avoided as this may lead to alteration of the levels of sugar in the body (Duprez, 2011). Counseling of the individual on how to live a healthy lifestyle is an equally important element in managing cardiovascular disease. A lot of stress is also associated with elevated blood pressure that might cause cardiac arrest.



In summation, early diagnosis is very crucial in the management of cardiovascular diseases. Risk factors such as substance abuse and family history are crucial information needed while assessing an individual. While pharmacological therapy is not yet clear, other methods of intervention are proving to be more reliable forms of improving health in such cardiovascular conditions.

The overall responsibility lies with an individual right from the point of seeking medical help to the available options for managing the disease and reducing its associated risk factors. It is, therefore, advisable to visit a medical doctor to help in checking the early indicators of the illness and practice on how to reduce and manage cardiovascular heart conditions.




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Braun, L. (2006). Cardiovascular Disease.The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, S20-S42

Couzin, J. (2007). DRUG SAFETY: Heart Attack Risk Overshadows a Popular Diabetes Therapy. Science, 1550-1551.

Duprez, D. (2011). Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease.Coronary Heart Disease, 497-508.

Hoffmann, U. (2003). Use of New Imaging Techniques to Screen for Coronary Artery Disease.Circulation. Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay.

Szabov, E. (2012). Individualized Cardiovascular Risk Assessment.Coronary Artery Disease – New Insights and Novel Approaches.

Usherwood, T. (2013). National guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk. Med J AustThe Medical Journal of Australia, 243-244.

Evidence Based Practice Paper – Cardiovascular Diseases Essay