Cardiovascular Diseases

Cardiovascular Diseases … Prevention and Treatment
​​What are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular diseases are a group of disorders afflicting the heart and blood vessels, and they include:
  • Coronary heart disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • Cerebrovascular disease: A disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain; 
  • Peripheral arterial disease: A disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
  • Rheumatic heart disease: Damage to the heart muscle and heart valves resulting from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • Congenital heart disease: Malformations of heart structure observed at birth;
  • Obstructive pulmonary: Blood clots in the leg veins, which can move to the heart and lungs. 
Heart attacks and strokes are serious diseases caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this blockage is the build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots.

What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
The most important behavioral risk factors of heart diseases and strokes are as follows:
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High amounts of fats
  • Overweight

What are common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases?
Often, there are no symptoms of the disease of the blood vessels. A heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of the disease. 

Symptoms of a heart attack include:
  • Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest
  • Pain or discomfort in the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back
  • The patient may experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling light-headed or faint
  • Sweating
  • Symptoms experienced by women in particular, include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Symptoms of strokes:
  • Sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body
  • Numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding the speech of others
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes
  • Difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Severe headache with no known cause
  • Fainting or unconsciousness

Symptoms of the rheumatic heart disease include:
  • Symptoms of the rheumatic heart disease include: shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, chest pain and fainting.
  • Symptoms of rheumatic fever include: fever, pain and swelling of the joints, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting.

For protection against cardiovascular diseases, it is necessary to adopt a healthy behavior as follows:
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy diet including eating vegetables and fruits and avoiding large amounts of salt and fats
  • Doing exercises regularly
  • Avoiding high blood glucose, high blood pressure and high blood lipids

For secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in those with the established disease, including diabetes, treatment with the following medications is necessary:
  • Aspirin
  • Beta-blockers
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Statins

Treatment of cardiovascular diseases includes:
  • Pharmaceutical treatment 
  • Surgical treatment, including:
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Valve replacement
  • Heart transplantation (from a donor)
  • Artificial heart transplantation

Last Update : 29 January 2020 12:07 PM
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