What is heart disease and ailments it includes?

Learn more about heart disease

The area of heart diseases is quite vast and it includes many types of heart ailments. Though heart diseases and cardiac diseases mean the same, they are not similar to cardiovascular diseases. While the latter refers to issues related to heart and blood vessels, the former means any diseases related to the heart.

The heart disease is considered to be the most common cause of casualty in major countries like US, UK, Canada or Australia as indicated by WHO or World Health Organization. It also indicates that about 25.4% of all deaths occurring in the USA currently are due to one or the other form of heart disease.

Types of heart disease

There are many types of heart diseases which includes angina pectoris wherein a particular muscle of the heart does not get sufficient oxygen and it can lead to coronary artery disease. This is caused due to the shrinking of the arteries of the heart due to accumulation of fat or plaque.

Other common heart disease is the Ischaemic heart disease caused due to inadequate supply of blood to the heart. The number of cases of this disease is higher in the West. This reduced blood supply through the coronary arteries is due to blocking of these arteries due to atherosclerosis or accumulation of plaque. It can be caused due to old age, excessive smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension or diabetes. The number of such cases is higher among men than women and also in those who have a history among close relatives.

IHD as it is commonly called has symptoms of angina as well as reduced tolerance to exercise. It can be diagnosed with blood tests, cardiac stress testing, electrocardiogram or coronary angiogram. It can be treated through medication, angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Heart disease prevention

There are ways to prevent heart diseases. While some are with proper treatment and medication, there are also a few which can be prevented without medications. It can prevent through proper and healthy lifestyle and avoid vices like smoking, alcohol abuse or tobacco.

Tobacco and smoking lead to damage of the heart and blockage of the blood vessels. It also causes accumulation of plaque or atherosclerosis caused due to narrowing of the arteries. So it is recommended that these vices are avoided.

Another way of preventing it is by being active and doing exercise regularly. Also the prevention of fatty food and managing your weight can be helpful. This also helps in managing high blood pressure, cholesterol and other ailments like diabetes.

Apart from these, the best way to prevent heart diseases is by having regular checkups and health screenings. You should test for blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes. Blood pressure tests should be done frequently and should maintain it to about 120/80. Likewise, the cholesterol levels should be checked every five years at a young age and more frequently to increase with age. As diabetes is also a common cause of heart disease, it is important to have screening and have a sugar free diet if the tests are positive.

Heart disease is quite common in all age groups due to changes in the lifestyle and obesity. It can be managed and prevented effectively if proper steps are taken.