It is widely known that diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as heart attacks, strokes, and ischemia, are the leading cause of death in many countries. However, proper prevention can significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing these adverse events.
As a result, the article addresses the most frequently asked questions regarding heart health and provides tips for preventing potential problems.
Are Heart Attacks Always Noticeable?
Most heart attacks are accompanied by recognizable symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness, and profound fatigue, making them obvious.
Silent heart attacks are typically less severe and may go unnoticed until months later when tests like electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, or cardiac MRIs reveal possible cardiac damage.
What Are the Differences Between Echocardiograms and Electrocardiograms?
An electrocardiogram assesses the heart’s electrical activity, including rhythm, frequency, and whether the electrical impulses are conducted typically within the heart muscle.
In contrast, an echocardiogram evaluates how the heart functions, measures wall thickness dimensions and checks the proper functioning of the valves.
Why Is Prevention Important for Heart Health?
Cardiovascular prevention significantly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, which have a considerable social and economic impact on the national healthcare system.
Starting cardiovascular education and prevention as early as adolescence can be crucial, as many patients only seek cardiac care when they already manifest symptoms like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or other issues related to high blood sugar. Addressing these problems in the second and third decades of life can be highly effective.
What Is a Pacemaker, and How Is It Used?
A pacemaker stimulates the heartbeat and is employed in cases of rhythm disorders or when the heart beats too slowly. In certain situations, a pacemaker can synchronize and reorganize the heart muscle’s contractions when it cannot pump adequately.
As a defibrillator, the pacemaker is inserted as a life-saving device for patients who have experienced arrhythmic cardiac arrest. In the event of another arrhythmic complication, the defibrillator intervenes to restart the heart.
What Are the Cardiovascular Risk Factors?
Cardiovascular risk factors can be divided into two categories:
Modifiable Risk Factors:
- Cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors:
- Family history
Note: Individuals with a family history of cardiovascular disease, mainly if it occurred in a parent, grandparent, or sibling under 65, have a higher risk of developing heart problems.
What Is Secondary Prevention?
Secondary prevention refers to measures taken when a person has already experienced cardiovascular disease to reduce the risk of a recurrence. This involves intensive intervention on the risk factors through pharmacological tools recommended by specialists and through adopting a healthier lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, smoking cessation, and regular physical activity.
Engaging in aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking or cycling for at least 40 minutes three times a week, is crucial for resuming an active life and promoting heart health.