Heart disease is the leading cause of death throughout the world. In the United States alone, the prevalence of heart disease is expected to rise to about 45 percent, by the year 2035. Consequently, the costs related to disease are also expected to double by this time. According to experts like Best Cardiologist in Lahore, the rise of these conditions is attributed to risk factors like obesity, type II diabetes, high cholesterol and uncontrolled hypertension.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a broad term used to refer to cardiovascular disorders which can cause ineffective pumping ability of the heart, irregular heartbeat, disorders of the heart valve and diseases of the vessels of the heart. Timely diagnosis, lifestyle modification and early management helps to mitigate disease severity and improve health.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Different heart diseases can present differently. However, the most common symptoms in adults with heart disease are:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in lying down flat
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Feeling pressure in the chest
- Numb and cold peripheries due to narrowing of blood vessels
- Pain that radiates to neck, arm back or jaw
- Racing heart
- Dizziness and fainting spells
For children born with heart defects, the symptoms are:
- Cyanosis or bluing of skin on activity or crying
- Shortness of breath during activity or feedings
- Poor weight gain
- Swelling in the dependent areas of the body like legs, eyes and belly area
What are the different types of heart disease?
The different types of heart diseases are:
- Coronary heart disease
CAD occurs due to plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart disrupting the blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. This disruption can result in angina and heart attack.
- Heart attack
When the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen due to atherosclerosis, it results in necrosis of the heart muscle, also called heart attack.
- Abnormal heart rhythm
The natural rhythm of the heartbeat is kept up by the electrical system of the heart muscle, with cyclical contractions of the atria, followed by the ventricle. If this rhythm is disrupted due to any reason, there is irregular heart rate also called arrhythmia. The heart beat can be excessively fast or slow due to this.
High blood pressure, particularly if uncontrolled, can put the heart under undue pressure as it has to overcome a lot of resistance to pump blood. This can predispose to other serious heart conditions such as stroke, heart attack and coronary heart disease.
- Congenital heart disease
These are the conditions that occur in the developing baby while it is still in the womb. Among the most common congenital defects are holes in the chambers of the heart like atrial or ventricular septal defects causing the mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.
Disease in the muscular layer of the heart is called cardiomyopathy. If this layer stiffens or stretches excessively, it can interfere with the pumping ability of the heart. Consequently, the stroke volume, or the amount of blood reaching the body gradually decreases. Causes of cardiomyopathy are related to genetic heart conditions, infections, chemotherapeutic agents and drug reactions.
- Pericardial disease
Inflammation of pathology of the surrounding sac of the heart is what constitutes pericardial disease. This inflammatory condition is called pericarditis and is a consequence of infective agents including bacteria and viruses, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus or following heart surgery.
- Valvular heart disease
There are four valves located in the heart, which maintain the unidirectional flow of the heart and prevent backflow. Any abnormality of the valves can result in narrowing of the valve (stenosis) or inability to close properly leading to backflow or regurgitation. Valvular diseases can be due to infective conditions like rheumatic fever, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attack. Severe cases of valvular diseases need surgical correction by Dr. Syed Ali Haider.