Every Fact You Need to Know About Cardiovascular Disease

Every Fact You Need to Know About Cardiovascular Disease
Source – Medical News Today

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide and heart disease is responsible for one in every four fatalities. That is around 610,000 individuals who die each year as a result of the condition.


Every Fact You Need to Know About Cardiovascular Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide and heart disease is responsible for one in every four fatalities. That is around 610,000 individuals who die each year as a result of the condition.

Heart disease respects no boundaries. It is the main cause of mortality for various groups of people, including whites, hispanics, and blacks. Nearly half of all Americans are at risk of developing heart disease, and the numbers continue to rise.

While heart disease is often fatal, it is also avoidable in the majority of individuals. By establishing good lifestyle choices early on, you can increase your chances of living longer with a healthy heart.

Source - American Heart Association

The Many Types Of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease is a broad term that refers to a variety of cardiovascular issues. Numerous illnesses and conditions are classified as heart disease. There are many types of heart disease.

  • Arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a term that refers to an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a term that refers to the hardening of the arteries.
  • Cardiomyopathy. This disorder results in the hardening or weakening of the heart muscles.
  • Congenital heart defects. Heart defects are anomalies of the heart that occur at birth.
  • Coronary arteries disease (CAD). CAD is caused by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries of the heart. It is sometimes referred to as ischemic heart disease.
  • Heart infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Cardiovascular disease is a word that refers to heart disorders that affect the blood vessels directly.

Determining Heart Diseases 

Different types of heart disease may manifest themselves in a number of ways.

Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats. The symptoms you feel may vary depending on which arrhythmia you have – abnormally rapid or slowed heartbeats. Among the symptoms of arrhythmia are the following:

  • lightheadedness
  • fluttering heart or racing heartbeat
  • slow pulse
  • passing out
  • dizziness
  • chest discomfort

Atherosclerosis 

Atherosclerosis impairs the flow of blood to your extremities. Along with chest discomfort and shortness of breath, atherosclerosis symptoms include the following:

  • chilliness, particularly in the limbs
  • numbness, mainly in the limbs 
  • unusual or unexplainable pain
  • a lack of strength in your legs and arms

Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects are heart disorders that occur during the development of a foetus. Certain cardiac abnormalities go undiagnosed. Others may be discovered as a result of the felt symptoms, such as:

  • blue-tinged skin
  • swelling
  • breathlessness or trouble breathing
  • exhaustion and weak energy
  • erratic heartbeat

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

CAD is the accumulation of plaque in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart and lungs. Symptoms of CAD include the following:

  • chest discomfort 
  • a feeling of squeezing in the chest
  • breathlessness
  • nausea
  • indigestion or gassiness

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscles become bigger and more stiff, thick, or feeble. Among the symptoms of this illness are the following:

  • fatigue
  • bloating
  • swollen legs, especially ankles and feet
  • shortness of breath
  • pounding or rapid pulse

Heart Infections

The word “heart infection" may refer to a variety of different illnesses, including endocarditis and myocarditis. Among the symptoms of a heart infection are the following:

  • chest pain
  • chest congestion or coughing
  • fever
  • chills
  • skin rash

Indications Of Heart Disease Among Women

Women often show different indications and symptoms of heart diseases than men, particularly when it comes to coronary artery disease (CAD) and other cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, a 2003 research examined the symptoms most often seen in women who had suffered a heart attack. The top symptoms exclude “classic" heart attack symptoms like chest discomfort and tingling. Rather than that, women were more likely to report experiencing worry, sleep problems, and unexpected or unexplained exhaustion, according to the research.

Additionally, 80% of women in the research reported experiencing similar symptoms for at least one month prior to having a heart attack.

Heart disease symptoms in women might often be mistaken for those of other illnesses such as depression, menopause, and anxiety.

Among the most common symptoms of heart disease in women are the following:

  • dizziness
  • paleness
  • shortness of breath or shallow breathing
  • lightheadedness
  • fainting or passing out
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • jaw pain
  • neck pain
  • back pain
  • indigestion or gaslike pain in the chest and stomach
  • cold sweats

The Causes Of Heart Diseases

Heart disease is a term that refers to a number of diseases and ailments that affect the cardiovascular system. Each form of cardiac disease is triggered by an entirely distinct factor. Atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease are caused by plaque accumulation in the arteries. The next section discusses other causes of heart disease.

Arrhythmia Causes

Causes of an abnormal heart rhythm include:

  • diabetes
  • CAD
  • heart defects, including congenital heart defects
  • medications, supplements, and herbal remedies
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • excessive alcohol or caffeine use
  • substance use disorders
  • stress and anxiety
  • existing heart damage or disease

Congenital heart defect causes

This heart condition develops throughout a baby’s development in the womb. Certain heart abnormalities may be dangerous and should be detected and treated promptly. Some may also be undiagnosed for an extended period of time

Furthermore, as you age, the structure of your heart may shift. This could result in the formation of a heart defect, which can also result in issues and problems.

Cardiomyopathy Causes

Cardiomyopathy is classified into many types. Each category is the outcome of a distinct set of conditions.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy. The reason for this most prevalent type of cardiomyopathy, which results in a weaker heart, is unknown. It might be the consequence of earlier heart damage caused by medicines, infections, or heart attacks. Alternatively, it might be a hereditary condition or the outcome of uncontrolled hypertension.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This kind of heart disease results in a thickening of the heart muscle. It is often inherited.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy. Often, the cause of this type of cardiomyopathy, which results in stiff heart walls, is unknown. Possible reasons include scar tissue formation and amyloidosis, a kind of aberrant protein accumulation.

Heart Infection Causes

The most prevalent causes of heart infections include bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Uncontained infections in the body may also be detrimental to the heart if not treated appropriately.

Some Risk Factors Of Heart Disease

Numerous risk factors for heart disease exist. Some are within our control, while others are not. According to the CDC, around 47% of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease. Several of these risk factors include the following:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • physical inactivity

For example, smoking is a modifiable risk factor. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), those who smoke quadruple their risk of acquiring heart disease.

Diabetes patients may also be at an increased risk of developing heart disease since high blood glucose levels raise the risk of:

  • angina
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • CAD

If you have diabetes, it is critical to keep your glucose under control to reduce your chance of developing heart disease. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), those who have both high blood pressure and diabetes have a twofold increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors

Additional risk factors for heart disease include:

  • family history
  • ethnicity
  • sex 
  • age

Although these risk variables are uncontrollable, their impact may be controlled. According to the Mayo Clinic, a family history of coronary artery disease is particularly alarming if it includes any of the following:

  • male relative under 55 years old, such as a father or brother
  • female relative under 65 years old, such as a mother or sister

Non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and people of Asian or Pacific Island heritage have a higher risk than Native Alaskans or Native Americans. Also, men are at greater risk for heart disease than women. In fact, the CDC estimates between 70 and 89 percent of all cardiac events in the United States occur in men.

Finally, your age can increase your risk for heart disease. From ages 20 to 59, men and women are at a similar risk for CAD. After age 60, however, the percentage of men affected rises to between 19.9 and 32.2 percent. Only 9.7 to 18.8 percent of women that age is affected.

Recognising Heart Disease

Your doctor may conduct a series of assessments and exams to obtain a diagnosis of heart disease. Several of these tests may be conducted even if no symptoms of heart disease are present. Others may be used to investigate the reasons for symptoms that occur.

Physical Examinations And Blood Tests 

The first thing your doctor will do is conduct a physical examination and collect a background of your symptoms. They’ll next want information about your family and personal medical history. Genetics may have a role in the development of some heart conditions. Share this information with your doctor if you have a close family member who has heart disease.

Frequently, blood tests are requested. This is because they may enable your doctor to monitor your cholesterol levels and identify indicators of inflammation.

Noninvasive Tests 

A variety of noninvasive tests may be used to diagnose heart disease.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Heart disease may be diagnosed using a range of noninvasive techniques. This test can monitor the electrical activity of your heart and assist your doctor in detecting any irregularities.
  • Stress test. This examination is conducted while you are engaged in strenuous activity, such as walking, jogging, or riding a stationary bicycle. Your doctor can monitor your heart’s activity throughout the test in response to changes in physical exertion.
  • Carotid ultrasound. Your doctor may suggest this ultrasound test to get a comprehensive ultrasound of your carotid arteries.
  • Holter monitor. Your doctor may request that you wear this heart rate monitor for a period of 24 to 48 hours. It enables them to get a more comprehensive picture of your heart’s activity.
  • Tilt table test. Your doctor may recommend this test if you’ve lately experienced fainting or lightheadedness while standing or sitting. You are strapped to a table and gradually lifted or lowered while your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are monitored.
  • CT scan. This imaging procedure provides a very detailed X-ray image of your heart to your doctor.
  • Heart MRI. A heart MRI, like a CT scan, may provide a very clear overview of your heart and blood arteries.
  • Invasive Tests 
  • If a physical examination, blood tests, and noninvasive testing are inconclusive, your doctor may choose to explore inside your body to ascertain the source of any uncommon symptoms. Invasive testing may include the following:
  • Cardiac catheterization and coronary angiography. Through the groin and arteries, your doctor may place a catheter into your heart. They will use the catheter to do testing on the heart and blood arteries. After inserting the catheter into your heart, your doctor may conduct coronary angiography. A dye is injected into the fine arteries and capillaries that surround the heart during coronary angiography. The dye contributes to the creation of a highly detailed X-ray picture.
  • Electrophysiology study. Your doctor may use a catheter to connect electrodes to your heart during this procedure. Once the electrodes are in place, your doctor may administer electrical pulses and monitor the heart’s response.

Available Treatments For Heart Disease

Treatment for heart disease is very dependent on the nature and stage of the condition. If you have a heart infection, for example, your doctor will almost certainly prescribe an antibiotic.

If you have plaque accumulation, they may take a two-pronged approach: they may prescribe a medicine to assist reduce your risk of further plaque development and they may work with you to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Heart disease treatment is classified into three broad categories:

Changes In Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle may help you avoid heart disease. Moreover, they may facilitate you in treating the problem and preventing it from worsening. One of the first things you may choose to alter is your diet.

A low-sodium, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables may allow you to reduce your chance of developing problems from heart disease. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is one example.

Similarly, regular exercise and stopping smoking can aid in the treatment of heart disease. Also, consider reducing your alcohol usage.

Medications

Certain types of cardiac disease may need drug treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat or manage your heart condition. Additionally, medications may be administered to reduce or eliminate the risk of problems. The specific medication provided to you is determined by the type of heart disease you have. 

Surgical Treatments Or Invasive Procedures

Surgery or medical treatment may be essential in certain types of heart disease to treat the disease and prevent symptoms from worsening.

For example, if your arteries are entirely or almost completely blocked by plaque buildup, your doctor may place a stent in your artery to restore normal blood flow. The technique that your doctor will conduct is determined by the type of heart disease you have and the level of heart damage.

Heart Disease Prevention

Certain risk factors for heart disease, such as family history, are uncontrollable. However, it is critical to be reducing your risk of getting heart disease by controlling the potential risks that you can manage.

Strive For Normal Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Levels

Maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels are two of the first steps toward a healthy heart. Mercury millimetres are used to monitor blood pressure (mm Hg). A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, which is often referred to as “120 over 80" or “120/80 mm Hg."

Systolic pressure is the pressure measured when the heart is contracting. Diastolic is the value obtained while the heart is at rest. Increased values suggest that the heart is pumping blood too quickly.

Your optimum cholesterol level is determined by your risk factors and family history of heart disease. If you have a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, or have previously had a heart attack, your target levels will be lower than those of individuals with a low or moderate risk of heart disease.

Determine Methods For Stress Management

As basic as it may seem, stress management may also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Do not underestimate the role of persistent stress in heart disease.  

Consult with your doctor if you are regularly overwhelmed, nervous, or dealing with difficult life changes such as relocation, job change, or divorce.

Develop A Healthier Lifestyle 

Consuming nutritious meals and exercising frequently is also important. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium. Doctors suggest exercising for 30 to 60 minutes on most days, for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes each week. Consult with your doctor to ensure that you can safely follow these rules, particularly if you already have a heart issue.

If you smoke, put it down. Nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood arteries, making it more difficult for oxygenated blood to flow. This may result in the development of atherosclerosis.

The Required Lifestyle Changes To Treat Heart Disease

If you’ve just been diagnosed with heart disease, speak with your doctor about how you can remain as healthy as possible. You may prepare for your visit by compiling a complete list of your daily routines. Several possible subjects include the following:

  • The medication you are currently taking
  • Your normal exercise regimen 
  • Your regular diet 
  • Any family history of heart disease or stroke
  • Personal history of hypertension or diabetes
  • Any current symptoms, such as a racing heart, dizziness, or a lack of energy

Seeing your doctor on a regular basis is one example of a healthy lifestyle practice you can adopt. If you do, any potential problems will be identified as soon as possible. Certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure, may be treated with medication to help reduce your chance of developing heart disease.

Additionally, your doctor may provide helpful tips on:

  • quitting smoking
  • regulating blood pressure
  • incorporating exercising
  • aiming for targeted cholesterol levels
  • reducing weight
  • consuming nutritious foods

Making all of these improvements at once may be exceedingly difficult. Discuss which changes in lifestyle will have the most effect on your healthcare provider. Even tiny actions toward these objectives will contribute to your overall health.

The Connection Between Heart Disease And Hypertension

Severely high blood pressure is the cause of hypertensive heart disease. Hypertension forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. This increased pressure may result in various cardiac complications, including thickened, enlarged heart muscle and restricted arteries.

The additional force required by your heart to pump blood might cause your heart muscles to become tougher and thicker. This may have an effect on how well your heart pumps. Hypertension may cause arteries to become less elastic and stiffer. This may result in decreased blood circulation and deprive your body of the oxygen-rich blood it requires.

Because hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of mortality for individuals with high blood pressure, it’s critical to begin treatment as soon as possible. Treatment may minimise problems and perhaps save further harm.

A Cure For Heart Disease

Heart disease is incurable and cannot be reversed. It is a chronic disease that needs lifelong treatment and close monitoring. Numerous heart disease symptoms may be addressed with drugs, surgeries, and lifestyle changes. If these approaches are unsuccessful, coronary intervention or bypass surgery may be undertaken.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you may be having symptoms of heart disease or if you have risk factors for heart disease. Together, you and your partner may identify your risks, run a few screening tests, and develop a strategy for maintaining your health.

It is critical to take control of your physical wellbeing today, prior to receiving a diagnosis. This is particularly true if you have a family history of heart disease or are predisposed to heart disease. Taking care of your body and heart now will pay off in the long run.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease#symptoms-of-heart-disease

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