Cardiovascular System

By Daniel Ibarrondo and Samantha Sharp

How It Works

The main purpose of the cardiovascular system is for the heart to pump blood and then circulate that blood throughout the body. Blood starts from the superior vena cava to the right atrium then to the right ventricle. From there, it is transported to the lungs from the pulmonary artery where it collects oxygen and goes to the pulmonary vein. Next, it circulates to the left atrium and down to the left ventricle and out the aorta to then enter the body.

Diseases

High blood pressure - increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Causes include drinking too much alcohol, smoking, obesity, and family history.

Artherosclerosis - hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Silently and slowly blocks arteries, putting blood flow at risk. Causes are high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Coronary artery disease - narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself.

Compare and Contrast: Respiratory System and Cardiovascular System

The difference between the circulatory and respiratory systems is the circulatory system carries blood throughout the body and the respiratory system is the way the body exchanges gases between the blood and air. The two systems work together in that when the heart beats, oxygen deprived blood exits the heart via the pulmonary artery. Blood travels down the pulmonary artery to the lungs (the word pulmonary refers to the lungs in human anatomy) where it enters a capillary system surrounding the aveloi in the lungs. It is here where excess carbon dioxide exits the blood and oxygen enters. The oxygen rich blood now returns to the heart where it is pumped out via the aorta to the rest of the body.

How to maintain optimal health within this system

To maintain optimal heart health you must have a health diet (not too much fatty foods, red meat, salt etc.) Also you should work out.