Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), also known as heart disease, is the broad term for problems related to the heart and blood vessels. There are many different types of CVDs which include Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Cardiac Arrhythmias, Heart Valve Diseases, Peripheral Artery Disease, High Blood Pressure (Hypertension), Stroke, and congenital heart disease.
CVD is one of the leading causes of death globally. In the UAE, one in every 3 deaths is from cardiovascular disease*. Major risk factors for CVD include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol level, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity. Other risk factors include stress, birth control pills, and alcohol. Factors such as age, gender, and genetics are also considered non-modifiable risk factors.
Combating CVD has become a global movement given the astronomically high number of people suffering. The initiatives to battle CVD extend from international to regional to national and local levels. These initiatives cover policies that create conducive environments for making affordable and readily available healthy choices. Other endeavours include advertising and PR campaigns that spread awareness and promote habits for a healthy heart.
Some of the best cardiologists in Dubai lead efforts in the UAE to ensure Cardiovascular health and reduce heart attack symptoms in the country. Cardiology specialists recommend focusing on prevention and treatment to protect your heart at every beat.
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
You can help prevent heart disease by taking control of your heart health. While certain factors to developing heart disease may be unavoidable, such as family history or your age, there are several risk factors that you can control to avoid the causes of a heart attack.
1. Eat a heart-healthy diet: A heart-healthy diet consists of different foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Cut down on salty, sweetened snacks, and avoid consuming processed, canned, and fast food to stay away from heart attack symptoms.
2. Maintain a healthy weight: A body mass index (BMI) of 25 and above is considered overweight. Also, a high waist circumference indicates a higher risk of experiencing heart failure symptoms. If you are overweight, it is crucial to calculate your daily calorie intake and bring it down to a level that can help weight loss.
3. Ensure regular physical activity: Adults are recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity spread throughout the week. Physical activity contributes to improved blood pressure, improved levels of cholesterol and other blood lipids, and weight control.
4. Quit tobacco: Tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are harmful to your heart. Quitting tobacco has immediate and long-term health benefits, including living up to 10 years longer. It is one of the best things you can do for your health.
5. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol consumption has been linked to more than 200 diseases, including CVDs. There is no safe level for drinking alcohol, so it is better to avoid drinking alcohol altogether to protect your heart.
6. Check blood pressure and blood sugar regularly: A meaningful way to maintain a healthy heart and avoid heart attack symptoms is to check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly by a health worker. It is also essential to consult your Cardiologist if you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, hypertension, or diabetes.
Cardiovascular Disease Treatment
Heart disease treatment largely depends on your heart disease type and how far it has advanced. The treatment falls into three main categories.
1. Lifestyle changes: Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent heart disease. They can also help you treat the condition and prevent it from worsening. Your diet is one of the first areas you may seek to change. A low-sodium, low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help lower your risk for further CVD complications. Regular exercise, quitting tobacco, and avoiding alcohol can also help treat heart disease.
2. Medications: Heart medications may be necessary to treat certain types of heart disease. Your doctor can prescribe a medication that can either cure or control CVD. Medications may also be prescribed to slow or stop the risk of complications. The exact drug prescribed depends on the type of heart disease you have.
3. Non-Surgical and Surgical Procedures: In some cases, medical or cardiac surgery is necessary to treat a patient's condition and prevent worsening symptoms. For example, suppose a patient has a blocked portion of the coronary artery causing heart failure symptoms. In that case, a skilled Cardiac Surgeon takes a healthy artery or vein from elsewhere in the body and connects it to supply blood past the blocked coronary artery. Ultimately, the procedure Cardiologists perform depends on the type of CVD and the extent of damage to the heart.
A Lifetime of Care
CVD can't be cured or reversed. It requires a lifetime of treatment and careful monitoring. Many of the symptoms of CVD can be relieved with heart medications, heart failure treatment, and lifestyle changes. Bypass surgery or coronary intervention might be used when these methods fail or when experiencing severe heart attack symptoms.
If you believe you may be experiencing heart failure symptoms or if you have risk factors for CVD, make an appointment to meet a Cardiologist. You can conduct a few screening tests together, understand the issues, and fix a plan for staying healthy.
Committing to taking charge of your overall health as we prepare to celebrate World Heart Day on 29 September is vital. This is especially vital if you have a family history of CVD or conditions that increase your risk for heart disease.
Visit your nearest PRIME Medical Center or PRIME Hospital to access some of the best cardiology specialists in the UAE. PRIME Medical Centers have some of the best cardiologist doctors in Dubai. At the same time, PRIME Hospital is equipped with advanced technology, including the latest Cath Lab. It is backed by highly experienced Interventional Cardiologists and Cardiology Surgeons to deliver world-class heart care.
*Source (Last updated on 27th May, 2022): https://bit.ly/KT-CVD