Provide an overview of the risk factors, diagnosis, and management of heart disease.
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is globally the leading cause of mortality. They are various types of heart diseases, each with its specific manifestations, diagnosis and treatment. Cardiovascular diseases include heart failure, coronary artery diseases, congenital heart disease, pericardial diseases and heart valve diseases. Coronary artery disease is the most common heart problem. High blood pressure is the sole manifestation of heart disease (Fuchs et al., 2021).
The risk factors for acquiring heart diseases are varied depending on an individual. Family history of cardiovascular diseases may pass to the next generation; hence it is genetically aligned. The inability to participate in exercises and lifestyle medication triggers the development of heart diseases. Physical inactivity increases a person’s chance of being overweight, having blood pressure and developing other health conditions that may burden the cardiac activity. Living a sedentary lifestyle enables a person to develop obesity, a leading risk factor for heart disease. Smoking significantly increases the probability of developing cardiovascular disease by narrowing the arteries, causing angina pectoris and heart attack. Sex, for instance, men are more at risk of developing cardiac diseases than women. Older people are also at greater risk due to the aging process. Additionally, preexisting conditions such as diabetes, consumption of high-density lipoprotein cholesterols and people living in low socioeconomic status are at risk of developing heart diseases.
Besides the risk factors of heart disease, different diagnostic techniques help rule out heart disease. Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, chest x-ray, cardiac catheterization, cardiac CT scan, and heart MRI are vital diagnostic techniques in heart conditions. Cardiac catheterization is a catheter inserted in the heart’s main blood vessels, which helps visualize blockages in heart arteries. An electrocardiogram records the electrical signal in the heart, while an echocardiogram is a noninvasive exam that uses sound waves to create a detailed image of the heart in motion.
Heart disease management depends on the cause and the type of heart disease. Heart disease treatment ranges from pharmacological therapy, non-pharmacological therapy and surgical interventions. Pharmacotherapy includes medications such as thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-receptor blockers and diuretic vasodilators (Gabb et al., 2016). Non-pharmacotherapy includes lifestyle modification and engaging in physical exercises. Seeking early intervention is vital in regulating high blood pressure. Surgical interventions in heart diseases include; coronary artery bypass grafting, heart valve repair, maze surgery, and the surgical insertion of a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter.
Fuchs, F. D., & Whelton, P. K. (2020). High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Hypertension, 75(2), 285–292.
Gabb, G. M., Mangoni, A. A., Anderson, C. S., Cowley, D., Dowden, J. S., Golledge, J., … & Arnolda, L. (2016). Guideline for the diagnosis and management of hypertension in adults—2016. Medical Journal of Australia, 205(2), 85–89.
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