Medicine. A group of disorders involving the cardiovascular system including the heart and the blood vessels. Cardiovascular diseases include for example heart disease, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmia, and atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of health problems and death in industrialized countries. The most important risk factors are age, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.