The cardiovascular systems of humans are closed, meaning that the blood never leaves the network of blood vessels. In contrast, oxygen and nutrients diffuse across the blood vessel layers and enter interstitial fluid, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the target cells, and carbon dioxide and wastes in the opposite direction. The other component of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, and is open. The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system. One of its major functions is to carry the lymph, draining and returning interstitial fluid back towards the heart for return to the cardiovascular system, by emptying into the lymphatic ducts. Also, the digestive system works with the circulatory system to provide the nutrients the system needs to keep the heart pumping.
Many diseases of the cardiovascular systems are also called "lifestyle diseases" because they develop over time and are related to a person's health choices and habits. The more heart disease risk factors a person can control, the less likely he or she will develop cardiovascular disease. There are some cardiovascular risk factors that can be altered by; not smoking, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, participating in physical activity and controlling diabetes.
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