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CHB NEWS BULLETIN

HEART DISEASE

Heart disease is a term for any type of disorder that affects the heart. Heart disease means the same as cardiac disease but not cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease refers to disorders of the blood vessels and heart, while heart disease refers to just the heart.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. It us reported that about 25% of all deaths in the USA today are caused by heart disease, and perhaps more in the third world countries.



Diagram of the heart. Blue parts indicate de-oxygenated blood pathways while red parts indicate oxygenated pathways

Risk factors for developing heart disease include:

  • Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and weakened or thickened heart muscle.
  • Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. However, women's risk increases after menopause.
  • Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
  • Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers.
  • Poor diet. A diet that's high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
  • High blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
  • Physical inactivity – Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.

Heart Attack Symptoms:

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone.
  • Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat, or arm.
  • Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn).
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats.

Some people have a heart attack without having any symptoms (a "silent" myocardial infarction - MI). A silent MI can occur in anyone, but it is more common among people with diabetes.

Seek emergency medical care if you experience heart disease symptoms mentioned above.

Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so talk to your doctor about your concerns about your heart health. If you're concerned about developing heart disease, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risks. This is especially important if you have a family history of heart disease.



Prevention & Treatment of heart disease

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.
 
You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are six heart disease prevention tips to get you started. These are also applicable to those already suffering from heart disease, so as to prevent their disease from worsening.

1. Don't smoke or use tobacco (Chewing of Pariki/Mawo).

Smoking or using tobacco (Chewing of Pariki/Mawo) of any kind is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack.

2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.

3. Eat a heart-healthy diet.

Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.

4. Maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight, especially if you carry excess weight around your middle, ups your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

5. Get enough quality sleep.

Sleep deprivation can do more than leave you yawning throughout the day; it can harm your health. People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.

6. Get regular health screenings.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
 
Visit your primary doctor regularly.
Apart from regular screenings, it is very important for those who are already having heart disease to follow-up with their doctors. Heart disease progresses with time and there is a need to review the treatment of your disease at regular intervals, do not be complacent.
 
Reference: -
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/237191.php
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502?pg=2 


 

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