Patients Guide

Cardiology

Who is at risk for heart disease?

Populations at Risk for Heart Disease:
There are several populations who have factors that put them at higher-risk for heart disease.
-The elderly, those over 65 years old,
-Males are generally more at risk than females. Gender plays a part in heart disease risk factor, however women are catching up with men in diagnosis of heart disease,
-Heredity, meaning heart disease can be genetic and can run in families.
-A person's race
These factors are risk factors that cannot be controlled. If you are one of the people who would be considered high-risk, it is important that you work with your physician on ways to combat the disease.
Heart disease is often controllable or preventable, if a person has good medical care and an awareness of any risk factors in their lives.

Why is the elderly at risk for heart disease?

Cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of death in people over 65 years of age. Approximately 85 percent of people who die from coronary artery disease are over the age of 65.
The most common type of heart disease in the elderly population is coronary artery disease.
It is believed that the elderly are at higher-risk for heart disease because of their age and the fact that there may have been accumulated heart damage throughout a person's lifetime.
For example, as a person grows older, his or her heart often changes. The muscles in an elderly persons heart may become less able to relax between beats. The end result of this is the chambers that pump the blood become stiff and do not work as well.
An elderly persons heart may not pump as well as it used to, which leads to the heart losing its effectiveness. These factors often leave an elderly person's heart more susceptible to diseases.
It is also believed that as a person ages so does the person's chances of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is often associated with heart failure, stroke, and heart attack.
It is important for the population, as it grows older, to have blood pressure checks regularly.
Women don't have Heart?? Why Men are more prone to heart disease than Women??
Heart disease is not a picky disease. It can affect anyone, anywhere. However, there are those who more at risk due to their gender and age. Heart disease was considered a male-dominated disease for many years, because men tend to die earlier from it than women. Men still are more at risk for heart disease, but women's risk for heart disease seem to be catching up with the men, just at a different age.
Men tend to have a higher risk for heart disease between the ages of 50 to 60. More men are diagnosed with heart disease at this age. However, women are being diagnosed more often between the ages of 65 to 70 years, thus resulting in almost a tie between the number of women and men who have heart disease.
The big difference is not the number of men and women who are susceptible to heart disease. The big difference is the age at when most develop the condition.
It is believed that women do not develop heart disease as early as men due to the estrogen a woman develops. This estrogen helps protect a woman's body against certain factors that cause heart disease to develop.
When menopause occurs, the estrogen level is eliminated and the risk for heart disease heightens.
Both men and women of any age can make lifestyle changes that will lessen their chances of devloping heart disease.

Whether Smoking habit increases the chances of heart disease?

Smoking is a large contributor to heart disease. It is also the one contributor that is the most preventable. People who smoke run a risk that is two to four times greater than non-smokers of having a heart attack. This includes those who smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Smokers run a much higher risk of sudden cardiac death than non-smokers. Even if you only smoke one to two cigarettes a day, the risk is still quite high that you may have a stroke or a heart attack.
People who smoke put others at risk, even non-smokers, for developing heart disease. Someone who is often subjected to a smoker's second hand smoke is at a higher risk for developing heart disease.
Smoking is a contributing factor to heart disease. One easy way to eliminate this factor is to stop smoking

What is Coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease. Coronary artery disease is often referred to as CAD (coronary artery disease).
CAD occurs when the coronary arteries are clogged or narrowed with cholesterol or fat. This clogging or narrowing is commonly referred to as atherosclerosis. Coronary arteries supply our bodies with oxygen and nutrients.
When the arteries are narrowed or clogged due to coronary artery disease, the heart can't get enough oxygen. When this occurs and the heart muscle is injured, a heart attack is often the end result.
CAD often has no symptoms associated with it. However, it can cause mild chest pains to more obvious chest pains. At times CAD can interfere with a person's daily activities. 
According the American Heart Association, the warning signs that someone may be experiencing CAD are the following:
-An uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the chest that may come and go.
-Pain that may spread to the shoulder, neck or arms.
-Feeling of discomfort in the chest that is present with light-headness or nausea.
CAD can also have less common warning signs such as: stomach pain, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, skin that pales, and cold sweats or palpitations.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, please consult with your doctor

How can high blood pressure contribute to heart disease?

Blood pressure is often called a "silent killer", because many people are unaware they suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart attack. People need to have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis by a physician.
High blood pressure often causes an increase pressure on the kidneys and the heart to work harder. This then increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and even kidney disease. 
A normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 and lower. High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 and higher.
Blood pressure can be controlled through exercise, weight loss and diet. There are times when medication is required to help decrease blood pressure. Reducing your blood pressure results in less chance of developing heart disease.

Which countries have the lowest rate of heart disease?

Countries with the highest rate of heart disease are: Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Countries with the lowest rate of heart disease are: Japan, France, Spain, Switzerland and Canada

How much sodium intake should a healthy adult have daily?

Sodium intake can affect your body's blood pressure. Often times, people who have a high sodium intake develop high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease.
It is important to watch your sodium intake. The American Heart Association recommends that adults who are healthy take in no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This measures out to be approximately one teaspoon of salt a day. 
To reduce sodium in your diet, you can make some simple lifestyle choices. Eat fresh vegetables. If you can't choose fresh vegetables then choose frozen or canned vegetables that have no salt added. By simply choosing some easy changes, you can lower your risk of heart disease! When choosing dairy products, choose low-fat versions of milk, cheese, and yogurt. Cheese is also available in lower sodium versions. You can still enjoy your dairy, without all the extra sodium.
When cooking or baking try not using salt for flavor. Instead add delicious flavor by using spices or herbs. If you must use sodium-based spices, look for low-sodium versions of your favorites. They may cost a bit more, but are much better for you!

 

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