Smart Food Choices

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

Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease.

Explanation:
A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Limiting sodium is a key part of a heart-healthy diet. Skip the table salt, limit processed and canned foods and opt for low-sodium condiments.
3

There is no link between heart disease and mental health.

Explanation:
Research shows that people with long-term depression, anxiety or stress can experience physiologic effects on the heart. These may include increased levels of cortisol, increased heart rate and blood pressure and decreased blood flow to the heart. Long-term physiological effects can result in heart disease and metabolic disease.
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

Exercising 30 minutes a day five days a week can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Explanation:
Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day five days a week has been found to be beneficial to heart health. Exercise can help keep blood vessels open, increase HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and boost the heart’s ability to pump blood.
(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. Local Cardiologist

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

Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

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.

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

Local Pharmacists

Gorjan Riskovski

Gorjan Riskovski

Pharmacist
Hamilton, ON
Sony Poulose

Sony Poulose

Pharmacist
Hamilton, ON
Jeff Hanbali

Jeff Hanbali

Pharmacist
Hamilton, ON

Heart Beat Now

Heart Beat Now

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