Cardiology (Dear Heart)

Cardiology (Dear Heart)

Why Would Someone Like You Care About Your Heart?

Because heart disease and diseases of the circulatory system are the leading cause of death globally.

The World Health Organization reported an estimated 17.3 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2008, representing 30% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.3 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke.

The number of people who die from cardiovascular diseases (CVD), mainly from heart disease and stroke, will increase to reach 23.3 million by 2030. CVDs are projected to remain the single leading cause of death.

Generally, there are no warning signs that a person has cardiovascular disease, and a heart attack is often the first symptom and can occur without any warning.

What are cardiovascular diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and they include:

  • coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • cerebrovascular disease - disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
  • peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
  • rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • congenital heart disease - malformations of heart structure existing at birth;
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

Cardiovascular disease is a serious condition, no matter what form it presents itself in. Knowing the risks and warning signs can help you keep an eye out for any problems. Click on any link above to learn more about a particular disease.

Heart attacks and strokes are almost always acute (abrupt onset) events and are primarily a result of a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common explanation for this is an accumulation of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain.

Strokes are also caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from a blood clot.

With advanced non-invasive techniques it is now possible to discover the early stages of coronary artery disease, but in some occasions may also be used to identify many other cardiac conditions.

For instance, if one member of the family is born with a heart abnormality called cardiomyopathy, there is chance that other family members could also be affected.

Screening for these kinds of conditions will most likely involve an ECG and other types of imaging, like echocardiography or with a more sophisticated investigation such as a 24-hour Holter monitoring and cardiac MRI.

Keeping your heart healthy, whatever your age, is the most important thing you can do to help prevent and manage heart disease.

Take the first step by contacting our physicians at Yanhee’s Dear Heart Center.