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Punjab

Lifestyle changes and prevention can avert heart diseases

08 June, 2023 11:48 AM

Agency 

PatialaHeart diseases are the leading cause of death in India. Estimates predict that they will take about 23 million lives globally by 2030[1]. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most prevalent form of heart disease in our country. Leading risk factors include diabetes and high blood pressure, a family history, sedentary lifestyle, addiction to vices such as smoking and drinking etc.

 

 

If left unchecked, these cause a condition called atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. This leads to the formation of hard structures called plaques. Over time, the plaques can block the arteries and cause problems such as coronary artery disease. If left undiagnosed, it can lead to medical emergencies such as heart attacks or a stroke.

Some symptoms and signs of heart disease to watch out for include chest pain/discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing/wheezing, and general weakness. The characteristic chest discomfort is often absent in women.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr G.S Sidhu, Chief & Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Patiala Heart, Patiala, Punjab, said, “There is a need to understand that prevention through lifestyle changes can avert many heart diseases and complications including Acute Coronary Syndrome. It’s important to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, especially if you have a family history. Maintaining a healthy weight by consuming a heart healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of low-fat dairy and lean meats and staying active is also very crucial. Stress management can go a long way in current times”.

 

Routine heart check-ups and screening can help in receiving the right treatment quickly and diagnosing underlying medical condition promptly. While medications can work in some people, in those with complications, procedures such as angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery may be needed. In angioplasty, a long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the narrowed part of the artery. A wire with a deflated balloon is then passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The balloon is inflated, compressing the deposits against the artery walls. A stent is often left in the artery. Most stents release medication to help keep the arteries open. In a bypass, the surgeon creates a graft to bypass blocked coronary arteries using a vessel from another part of the body. This allows blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed coronary artery.

 

What people living with heart disease need to remember is that it is normal to feel overwhelmed, but with the right medical guidance, it is possible to manage the condition and reduce the chance of another heart attack.

 

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