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Cardiovascular disease: Risks, management, and nursing interventions

CPD Hours



Critical care and emergency nursing
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, many of which are related to a progressive accumulation of plaque in the arteries called coronary atherosclerosis.

CVD remains the leading cause of mortality and disability in Australia with the chronic condition accounting for an estimate 14% of the total burden of disease in 2015. In 2017, CVD accounted for 12% (approximately 18,590) of all deaths in Australia. It has been estimated that heart disease kills 1 Australian every 12 minutes. CVD has a strong relationship with diabetes and chronic kidney disease as these conditions share many risk factors and often co-exist. Most risk factors for CVD are modifiable and by incorporating modest lifestyle improvements, such as improvements to diet and fitness, the chances of developing CVD are minimal.

This course discusses CVD risk profiles, treatment management options, including lifestyle changes and pharmacology recommendations, and a brief overview of paediatric care. It is aimed at all nurses and midwives who interact with patients who have, or are at risk of developing, CVD, or have a genetic history of CVD. It will be of interest to anyone involved in patient care who has an interest in CVD.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Identify the main cardiovascular disease (CVD) disorders.
  • Identify and differentiate between modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors.
  • Know the recommended assessment for determining CVD risk.
  • Identify the recommended treatment options for low-, medium- and high-risk patients.
  • Have an understanding of paediatric care and limitations with regards to CVD treatment.

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