Heart Health: Heart Disease

Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Heart diseases include:

  • Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
  • Heart valve disease
  • Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart infection

Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.

Dr. Pragnesh Gadhvi

Dr. Pragnesh Gadhvi

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ
Dr. Sreeram Grandhi

Dr. Sreeram Grandhi

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ
Dr. Michael Cohen

Dr. Michael Cohen

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ

Quiz: Do You Understand Heart Disease?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Coronery artery disease can lead to a heart attack.

Explanation:
As plaque builds up it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. This decreased blood flow can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and sweating. A complete blockage can lead to a heart attack.
2

Congestive heart failure is also known as atrial fibrillation.

Explanation:
Atrial fibrillation is also called arrhythmia. Congestive heart failure is a chronic heart condition that occurs when your heart muscle is ineffective at pumping blood. While the term "heart failure" is often used used, congestive heart failure is the stage in which fluid builds up around the heart, causing it to pump inefficiently.
3

Atrial fibrillation can increase your risk of stroke.

Explanation:
Arrhythmia (also known as atrial fibrillation) can increase your risk of heart failure, stroke, blood clots and other heart conditions.
4

Beta blockers aren't a treatment for heart disease.

Explanation:
Treatment for heart disease depends on your condition, and may include antiplatelet drugs, anticoagulants, beta blockers, nitrates, calcium channel blockers and others.
5

Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease.

Explanation:
In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by controlling risk factors. Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Brett Heilbron, MD, FRCPC, cardiologist, discusses Heart Disease Prevention Strategies

Heart Disease Prevention Strategies

It’s important for younger people to be aware of their cardiovascular risk factors, and to do their best to modify them.

In particular I think exercise is a critical part of risk reduction, and it’s important to have at least half an hour of exercise three times a week. Diet is a big part as well. A low salt diet, low fat diet, high in fruits and vegetables, alcohol moderation is important as well.

And obviously reducing the major risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes control, pays very well long-term dividends.

It’s important for young people to be informed of their heart disease risk factors and to deal with them before they develop an event rather than after. And, certainly the relationship with their physician is crucial in terms of long term awareness and control of the risk factors.

Presenter: Dr. Brett Heilbron, Cardiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

Psychiatric Effects on Heart Disease

Psychological factors are independent risk factors for coronary heart disease.

There’s research evidence suggesting that increased stress, social isolation, lack of support and a number of psychiatric illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and panic disorder all tend to increase the risk of coronary heart disease by 1.5 to 3-fold.

If you have had a heart attack recently and suffer from depression, that tends to affect your prognosis, the chances of you recovering from your heart attack.

So make sure you seek help for your depression because that will increase your chances of staying well from the cardiovascular point of view. If you have more questions about the relationship between stress, psychiatric conditions and heart disease, please make sure to speak with your family physician.

Presenter: Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, Psychiatrist, Vancouver, BC

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Risk factors for heart disease can be divided up into those that are modifiable and those that are not.

In terms of the ones that are not, by far the biggest risk factor is age, so advancing age is a very strong predictor of a cardiovascular event. There are a number of modifiable risk factors as well.

In particular, diet and exercise are things that really need to be encouraged in terms of preventing the development of heart disease and also modifying the outcome once people actually have developed heart disease. It’s important for people to know what the risk factors are and what to do about them. If they’ve got concerns, I think it’s important that they consult their physician.

If you have questions about cardiac treatment, contact a local cardiologist or family physician.

Lakshmi Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), discusses psychiatric effects on heart disease.

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