Cardiovascular diseases claimed the lives of 17.9 million people worldwide in 2019 and caused 32% of all deaths. According to the Indian Heart Association, cardiologists have witnessed an upsurge in young adults suffering heart attacks in the last decade. In Indian men, 50% of all heart attacks occur before they reach the age of 50, and 25% of all heart attacks occur before they reach the age of 40. Cardiovascular disease is also a leading cause of death among Indian women.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common one being coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack. While heart disease can be fatal, an estimated 80% of all heart diseases can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

What are the Different Types of Heart Disease?

Several diseases and conditions fall under the umbrella of heart disease. Types of heart disease include:

  • Arrhythmia
    An arrhythmia is a heart rhythm abnormality.
  • Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries.
  • Cardiomyopathy
    This condition causes the heart’s muscles to harden or grow weak.
  • Congenital heart defects
    Congenital heart defects are heart irregularities that are present at birth.
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
    CAD is caused by the build-up of plaque in the heart’s arteries. It’s sometimes called ischemic heart disease.
  • Heart infections
    Heart infections may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Difference in heart attack symptoms for men and women

Research suggests that there are significant differences in how men and women experience a heart attack.

Warning signs in men

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men. Men exhibit the following symptoms during a heart attack:

  • Chest pain/tightening
  • Upper body pain in the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat

Warning signs in women

Most women don’t experience the classic symptoms of heart attack like chest or arm pain. Here are the symptoms women experience:

  • Unusual fatigue lasting for several days
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Light-headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Upper back, jaw or shoulder

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, seek emergency medical help. Try to stay as calm as possible and take deep, slow breaths while you wait for emergency care.

Prevention of Heart Disease

Risk factors of heart disease like age, gender, family history and ethnicity cannot be changed. However, there are many other risk factors that can be controlled. Follow theses heart-healthy steps to reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Quit smoking
    You’re more than twice as likely to have a heart attack if you smoke than if you don’t.
  • Improve cholesterol levels
    It is important to manage your cholesterol levels and keep your LDL, HDL as well as triglycerides in control.
  • Control high blood pressure
    Adequate exercise, dietary changes and limited salt intake will help control your blood pressure levels. Take your medication regularly if prescribed.
  • Exercise regularly
    A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of strenuous physical activity each week is recommended. Staying fit can help you manage your weight, lower your cholesterol, control your blood sugar, and reduce stress, all of which are beneficial to your heart health.
  • Say “No” to alcohol
    Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It also adds extra calories, which may cause weight gain. Both of those raise your risk of heart disease.
  • Follow a heart-healthy diet
    Try to limit saturated fats, foods high in sodium, and added sugars. Consume a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep your heart healthy.
  • Watch your weight
    It is beneficial to your heart to lose excess weight. It can also aid in the treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes, factors that increase your risk of a heart attack.
  • Get a good night’s sleep
    Sleep deprivation has been linked to a range of heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart failure, as well as a sleep disorder known as sleep apnoea.
  • Learn to manage stress
    Being stressed all the time due to professional and personal commitments is unhealthy for your heart. It raises your blood pressure levels and increases your risk of heart disease. Find ways to cope better with stress.
  • Be regular with Health checkups
    Track your health numbers by regular preventive checkups. This helps manage any risk factors of heart disease with lifestyle changes and medications.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

The Centre for Cardiac Sciences is equipped with cutting-edge technology, world-class infrastructure, and a highly skilled team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. We offer a comprehensive programme for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease in people of all ages, from infants to adults. The team also conducts high-end treatments that include minimally-invasive surgeries, beating heart coronary artery bypass grafting and awake cardiac surgery. Please find below our website link for further details: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_cardiacsciences.html

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