Enfermedad cardiovascular y factores de riesgo psicosociales. Papel de la psicología clínica en la salud cardiovascular

Nowadays, chronic diseases have become a challenge for the health system. Long-term conditions, usually of slow progression, with a high prevalence and that are not curable, are called chronic diseases. In general, they include cardiovascular diseases (such as ischemic heart disease, heart failure or cerebrovascular disease, mainly); Neoplastic diseases without curative treatment; chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma); disabling osteoarticular diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis and severe osteoarthritis), diabetes mellitus, and many others.

There is no consensus about the period after which a disease becomes chronic, but on average any disease that lasts more than six months can be considered chronic. These types of diseases are not distributed randomly, but are observed more frequently
in certain people, families and communities, as a consequence of diverse environmental and psychosocial factors that interact with a vulnerable genetic profile.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2008), chronic diseases represent the greatest challenge of modern healthcare systems, given that comprehensive care for chronic patients is one of the greatest challenges of the millennium. It is estimated that 80% of consultations in primary care and 60% of hospital admissions are due to chronic diseases, generating up to 70% of health expenditure. Of the consultations made in PC, it is estimated that 40% is performed by elderly people, consumers of continued care and more social resources (Department of Health, 2005).

At present, the psychosocial risk factors associated with chronic diseases are being given great importance.