The cardiovascular diseases, which include cardiomyopathies and cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular disease, are disorders of the heart and of the blood vessels, being the leading cause of premature death in Spain and in all western countries. We speak of cardiovascular diseases when, for example, there is a lack of blood supply in the heart muscle and a angina pectoris or a myocardial infarction. Also when a person is born with a congenital heart disease (malformation of the heart) or when this organ does not have enough capacity to pump blood and there is a heart failure.
Most common cardiovascular diseases:
high blood pressure (high pressure)
ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction or angina pectoris)
peripheral vascular disease
congenital heart disease
Among the most frequent heart diseases we find imyocardial infarction, a type of ischemic heart disease, that is, a disease caused by deterioration and blockage of the arteries from the heart. It occurs due to the accumulation of plaques of cholesterol, lipids
(fats) and inflammatory cells in the walls of these arteries, causing the heart not to receive enough blood.
The imyocardial infarction appears suddenly and as a consequence of the complete obstruction of any of the arteries of the heart, due to the formation of a clot.
It is a disturbance of the rhythm of the heart (also called arrhythmia) and is the most frequent in the world. In a healthy heart, under normal conditions, you should have a heart rate that only speeds up when we exercise, and slows down when we sleep. The normal rhythm of the heart ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute and is called sinus rhythm. When arrhythmia appears, the normal rhythm of the heart is altered, can be sped up despite being at rest (tachycardia) or slow down (bradicardia).
The Achest ngina is, together with myocardial infarction, a type of ischemic heart disease, that is, a disease caused by deterioration and blockage of the heart arteries. It occurs due to the accumulation of cholesterol plaques, lipids (fats) and inflammatory cells on the walls of these arteries, causing the heart is not getting enough blood.
La icardiac insufficiency it is a chronic disease and degenerative of the heart that prevents it from having sufficient ability to pump blood, and therefore to get enough oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the organs.
Symptoms of suffering a cardiovascular disease
As the doctor Luis González, boss Cardiology Quirónsalud Alicante, to realize and distinguish that we are suffering from one of the diseases mentioned above we must feel “pain or discomfort when straining the chest, in the arms, left shoulder, jaw or back and especially if they are accompanied by difficulty breathing. As well as sickness or vomiting, jaw pain or back, palpitations, dizziness or fainting, cold sweats and paleness”.
Cardiovascular Health: Risk Factors
In addition to the main cardiovascular risk factors that have always been considered, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking or dyslipidemia, “today there is one more enemy: the stress, due to the lifestyle that today’s society has, ”González specifies.
What happens if a cardiovascular patient is affected by Covid-19?
If you have a respiratory condition due to coronavirus, you may have some major complication. That is why they are considered risk patients. The alteration of the immune system, inflammation and increased clotting during Covid-19 infection can aggravate a cardiovascular disease chronic disease that was stable and increased the risk of heart attacks, as stated by Dr. Luis González.
Likewise, Dr. Lauwers warns of the direct involvement of the heart muscles in patients with coronavirus which increases the risk of inflammation or myocarditis and highlights the importance of performing a more exhaustive cardiology follow-up of patients after infection.
“This type of sequelae will be more important in patients who have had a cardiovascular disease prior to the coronavirus but also in those patients who have delayed their visit to the cardiologist or have not attended it ”, highlights the specialist from Quirónsalud Torrevieja
What is the best age to do a cardiovascular checkup?
Anyone who wants to know their cardiovascular health in depth should be able to have a cardiovascular checkup. In this regard, both specialists agree that the most suitable age is from 40 years, “Especially if there is a relevant family or personal history such as high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking”, points out González.
However, his partner, Dr. Florenciano, also focuses on the particular circumstances of each patient, since “a 50-year-old diabetic and hypertensive person with a non-negligible level of cardiovascular risk is not the same as a 65-year-old without cardiovascular risk factors. In the first case, a check-up is a higher priority than in the second. Nor is a man or woman who does intense exercise the same as one with a sedentary lifestyle.. For this reason each case must be individualized ”.
Who suffers more heart attacks, men or women?
And in relation to how the sex of the person influences suffering from cardiovascular diseases to a greater or lesser degree, the head of cardiology at Quirónsalud Torrevieja points out that “it should be taken into account that coronary heart disease is less common in premenopausal women”.
To which González adds that “in ischemic heart disease, women are protected for ten years more than men and it is after menopause that cardiovascular events increase. In general terms, the cardiac health of a woman is comparable to that of a man ten years younger”.
Detecting heart disease: What tests do I need to have?
Every check-up should begin with a good medical history, since the tests that will provide more information to the check-up are derived from it. Because of this, Dr. Florenciano explains that “at least one should do an electrocardiogram and laboratory tests and, depending on medical criteria, an echocardiogram, stress test, electrocardiogram holter, etc. will be performed ”.
What information does the evidence provide regarding cardiovascular health?
“These tests show “A photo” of how our heart is both at a mechanical level (echocardiography), electrical (electrocardiogram and holter) and irrigation (stress test) ”, comments the head of Cardiology Quirónsalud Alicante.
“The check is focused on detect heart diseases that have not produced symptoms and that can cause serious injury or death. These diseases mainly affect the heart muscle or the coronary arteries. Specifically, the echocardiogram it is a good test to diagnose myocardial diseases and the stress test for coronary arteries ”, specifies the head of cardiology at Quirónsalud Torrevieja.
How often should we repeat these checks?
If we obtain results with normal values, it is advisable to repeat the tests “annually or biannually in order to obtain a complete report of the circulatory system, heart and blood vessels to evaluate their functioning and prevent the appearance of diseases and cardiovascular accidents ”, advises González.
Are there different cardiological check-ups according to the age of the patients?
Since age is a determining and risk factor when referring to cardiovascular diseases, it is logical to think, as indicated by Dr. Florenciano “the older the more tests they will be required to obtain a complete assessment of the person’s cardiovascular status. In patients over 60 yearsIn general, the check should include What minimal echocardiogram and stress test. Of course, in younger patients who exercise, the stress test must be carried out”.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy: Tips for a Healthy Life
In addition to performing moderate exercise 4-5 times a week, not smoking and treating excess cholesterol and diabetes, we must learn to manage stress, causing a large number of pathologies and even aggravating pre-existing ones.
And of course follow a heart-healthy diet, which consists of limiting the consumption of sugars, fats and salt and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts, as well as fresh and unprocessed products. Finally you must Avoid drinking alcohol and sugary drinks or soft drinks.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.