On World Heart Day, it is imperative to create awareness on the prevalence of heart diseases in women and their symptoms
Indore, Date: As per recent studies, dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol levels) is a major risk factor for the development of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) among young Indian woman. Some other risk factors for the condition include diabetes and hypertension. On World Heart Day, there is a need to create awareness on the fact that ACS is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and care.
ACS is a term that describes a range of conditions that cause sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart such as a heart attack. This reduction in blood flow can alter the functioning of heart. The goals of treatment include improving blood flow, treating complications and preventing future problems.
Speaking about this, Dr Sarita Rao, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Indore, said, “Acute coronary syndrome occurs when there is a buildup of plaque on the walls of coronary arteries. When this plaque deposit ruptures or splits, it leads to the formation of a clot that blocks blood flow to the heart muscles. This can further cause cells of the heart muscles resulting in a heart attack. Although the hormone estrogen protects young women, this effect may be countered by factors like family history of coronary artery disease (CAD) or an unhealthy lifestyle. It is therefore imperative to undergo regular and timely health checkups and understand any possible risk factors.”
Some of the characteristic symptoms of ACS include chest pain or discomfort; pain spreading from the chest to the shoulders, arms, upper abdomen, back, neck or jaw; nausea or vomiting; indigestion; shortness of breath (dyspnea); sudden and heavy sweating; dizziness or fainting; and fatigue.
Adding further, Dr Sarita Rao, said, “Heart diseases including ACS are often not considered prevalent in women. This leads to a delay in diagnosis, management and treatment. Prevention is the first step towards reducing mortality association with ACS in women. There needs to be awareness around leading a healthy lifestyle and weight management.
In some patients, ACS can be managed through medications, and in others, cardiac interventions such as angioplasty with stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) may be needed. Angioplasty is a treatment that is used to restore and improve blood flow. A long, thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the narrowed part of the artery. A wire with a deflated balloon is then passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. The balloon is inflated, compressing the deposits against the artery walls. A stent is often left in the artery. Most stents release medication to help keep the arteries open, known as drug eluting stents. In CABG, the surgeon creates a graft to bypass blocked coronary arteries using a vessel from another part of the body. This allows blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed coronary artery.
Some tips to stay heart healthy.
• Manage weight: People with abdominal fat are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.
• Physical activity: About 45 minutes of daily exercise, for 5 days a week, is a must. This will avoid excess weight gain and prevent heart problems in the longer run.
• Stop smoking: Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by narrowing arteries over a sustained period of time. Quit immediately.
• Get checked regularly. Keep your vitals such as blood pressure and sugar under check. If you notice any fluctuations, consult a specialist immediately.
Disclaimer: “Any and all the Information provided in the article are independent views expressed by Dr Sarita Rao, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Indore for general overview and educational purposes only.”