Any disease related to the heart or arteries is called cardiovascular disease. Some of them are congenital diseases and some occur during life. Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Symptoms of cardiovascular disease
Heart disease affects the heart in different ways that have different clinical symptoms depending on the severity, type of disease and even gender. However, some of these symptoms are common and common, such as:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath during physical activity or at rest
- Persistent cough
- Severe heartbeat
- Feeling tired and weak
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
Common types of cardiovascular disease
The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease. In this case, the arteries that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle become narrow and hard. As a result, the amount of blood in the heart decreases and the heart muscles, which are responsible for pumping blood in the body, become weak and lead to heart failure, arrhythmia or heart attack.
Other common cardiovascular diseases include:
- Congenital defects
This complication develops in the valves and walls of the heart and the person is born with it. Sometimes the symptoms appear in childhood and sometimes it is asymptomatic. The disease is detected through echocardiography in adulthood and needs treatment.
- Cardiac arrhythmia
In cardiac arrhythmia or the same Irregular heartbeat, The heart rate may be faster than usual (tachycardia) or slower than usual (bradycardia).
- Atrial fibrillation
The disease is not a cause for concern in very mild cases, but if it is long-term it may need treatment. Because irregular rhythms can affect heart function and even cause death.
- Stroke or heart attack
A stroke is a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle that destroys part of the heart muscle and reduces its function. The most important cause of a heart attack is coronary artery stenosis or the presence of blood clots in the arteries, which can cause blood not to reach the heart tissue and eventually lead to death.
- Mitral valve prolapse
In this complication, the mitral valve is defective. Failure to close this valve properly will cause the blood to return.
- Heart failure
In this disease, heart function is reduced and as a result it is less efficient. Heart failure is usually caused by clogged arteries, arrhythmias, infections and inflammation, high blood pressure, and more. It can occur on the right or left side or both sides of the heart.
This complication may be fatal but can be controlled with prompt diagnosis and early treatment. Swelling in the legs and ankles, abdominal swelling, urinary incontinence, chest pain, and extreme tiredness are common symptoms of this disease.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
In this complication, the heart enlarges and the contractile strength of the heart muscle decreases. Therefore, the heart cannot pump blood properly, causing arrhythmias, blood clots in the heart, and heart failure.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
In this inherited disease, the walls of the heart thicken and affect the heart’s pumping. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may be asymptomatic and worsen over time.
In a small number of people with heart disease, thickening of the heart muscle can cause shortness of breath, angina, or problems with the heart’s electrical system, resulting in an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) threatening their lives and health. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is usually inherited. Therefore, anyone with a family history of such a disease should be screened. It is the most common cause of sudden death in athletes.
Methods of diagnosing cardiovascular diseases:
A cardiologist can usually make a definitive diagnosis of cardiovascular disease by examining several tests. Some of these methods are aggressive and some are non-invasive.
Non-invasive methods for diagnosing coronary artery stenosis
- ECG: In the ECG, the patient’s resting heart rate is monitored and heart damage and heart attack are assessed.
- fitness test: This test shows the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure during physical activity. Exercise testing can help diagnose the possibility of clogging and narrowing of the arteries.
- Echo of the heart: Eco cardiography It is a type of ultrasound of the heart that shows the heart muscle, valves, and cardiac output at rest.
- Holter Rhythm: Holter Rhythm records heart rate fluctuations during 24 or 48 hours during a person’s daily activities and shows the type, percentage and extent of arrhythmia.
- Echo stress: Compares the function of the heart muscle during activity and rest and can diagnose vascular stenosis with a high percentage. Echo of stress Because it is non-invasive, it is the first choice for diagnosing clogged arteries.
- Echo of Mary: Sound waves through the esophagus record the function of the heart and blood flow.
- Nuclear scan with contrast injection: Identifies areas of the heart that have reduced blood flow.
- City Angio: In this test, a contrast agent is injected into the arteries to show the degree of stenosis.
Invasive methods for diagnosing coronary artery stenosis
- Angiography: Used to diagnose abnormalities or coronary artery stenosis. In this method, a tube called a catheter is inserted into the main arteries of the heart and a contrast dye is injected through it. The x-rays are then taken of the arteries to see where the narrowing of the arteries is.
Prevention and control
Various factors affect the risk of heart disease, some of which, such as age and gender, are uncontrollable, but others can be controlled. Factors that can be done to reduce the risk of heart disease include:
- Control of blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and weight
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol
- appropriate diet
- Avoid anxiety and insufficient sleep