It is imperative to be attentive and proactive when it comes to taking care of your heart, particularly considering the growing number of health issues that can impact your well-being. During Heart Health Awareness Month this September, PRIME HEALTH is thrilled to introduce a contest that could change your life.
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Why Early Detection Matters
Your journey to heart health begins with understanding your unique risk profile. This knowledge equips you to tailor your lifestyle choices for optimal heart health. It's time to move from reacting to heart issues to proactively safeguarding your well-being.
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Direct Insights from Our Cardiologist, Dr. Suma Victor
Heart Attacks among Gymgoers
Q- Currently, there is a worrisome trend of heart attacks among gymgoers. Why are regular gym goers at risk of heart attacks?
Answer: Heart attacks among the younger population, in general, are on the rise, and currently, there is an increasing trend of heart attacks among gymgoers as well. A heart attack results from a complex interplay of multiple risk factors such as genetics, lifestyle, comorbidities, and diet. Exercising in the gym alone will not prevent a heart attack, and no one should assume that just because they are in the gym daily, they are exempt from heart disease. Ignoring the symptoms of heart problems such as chest pain, breathing difficulty, dizziness, or palpitations while exercising can prove lethal as essential oxygen supply can be diverted from the heart muscle to exercising leg or arm muscles, worsening the situation, which can result even in a cardiac arrest.
Exercise and Heart Health
Q- What should avid fitness enthusiasts keep in mind while exercising?
Answer: Exercise is good for fitness and general health. However, sudden high-intensity exercise can have adverse effects such as high blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Gymgoers must first ensure the wellness of their cardiovascular system before beginning exercise. Prolonged high-intensity exercises may even result in a condition called "athlete's heart." Bulking up does not contribute much to the heart's health and may even be counterproductive. Moderate aerobic exercises are generally adequate for most people's heart health.
Role of Heart Rate Monitors
Q- Can heart rate monitors help?
Answer: Heart rate monitors track the number of times your heart beats per minute. While a high or low heart rate can occur during a heart attack, it is seldom sufficient to detect a heart attack. Doctors use a 12-lead electrocardiogram, or ECG, to diagnose a heart attack accurately. ECG shows the pattern of electrical activity in the cardiac muscle. When there is a lack of blood supply due to a "block" in the artery, the tracing of electrical activity changes, leading to the diagnosis. Some of the currently available smart watches have ECG tracing as well. However, the real-world application of this to detect heart attacks has yet to evolve.
Treadmill Test (TMT)
Q- Often people do the treadmill test or TMT to decide if one's heart is fine. Is that enough?
Answer: The treadmill, TMT, or stress test is currently used as a 'screening' test to detect 'blocks’ that have not yet caused problems. TMT has a specificity of 85-90%. That means when your TMT is negative, you will unlikely have significant blocks in your coronary arteries. So, for the general population with reasonable exercise capacity, TMT is the best available preliminary test to detect heart disease.
Exercising with Heart Disease
Q- Can you exercise if you've got heart disease?
Answer: Patients with heart disease should exercise in consultation with health professionals; this process is called cardiac rehabilitation. We usually recommend a "graded" exercise regimen, which means they can start to exercise slowly and increase the intensity of exercise at regular intervals. Isotonic exercises such as weightlifting can cause sudden blood pressure and heart rate increases and are best avoided in cardiac patients. Most importantly, avoid exercise when you have chest pain, breathing difficulty, or feel unwell.
The Escalating Heart Disease By Dr. Murali
Did you know that the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is on the rise globally? Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it accounts for nearly 40 percent mortality annually. As we know, CVD is caused by multiple risk factors such as high cholesterol, history of Type II diabetes, hypertension, and regular smoking. It is time to ensure your arteries are fine and not silently building up plaque.
Our Heart Screening Tests Include:
Prioritize your heart and well-being. Don't wait for symptoms to strike; book your analysis now and embark on a heart-healthy life. Your heart matters, and so does your future!