Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. It is a serious condition that occurs when the heart and blood vessels do not function properly. It, According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 17.9 million people worldwide die each year from heart disease, representing 31% of all global deaths.
It is usually referred to as a “silent threat” because many people do not experience any symptoms until a heart attack or stroke occurs. Around 1 in 5 heart attacks occur without the person being aware that they even had a heart condition. Cardiovascular symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath, pain or numbness in your arms or legs, confusion, loss of consciousness, and blurred vision require immediate emergency medical attention.
What Causes Heart Disease?
The most common cause of heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This canlead to a heart attack, angina (chest pain) or stroke. Other forms of heart disease can affect the heart muscle, valves, or rhythm. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated successfully with lifestyle changes and making healthier choices.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
This is the most common type of heart disease, with approximately 18.2 million adults aged 20 and over living with the disease. It develops when the major blood vessels are damaged which can cause them to narrow or get blocked, obstructing blood flow to the heart. Other causes of heart disease are high blood pressure, heart valve problems, abnormal heart rhythms, and infections or toxins that weaken the heart. Cholesterol-containing fatty deposits, known as plaquethat can build up in the arteries, and inflammation are to blame for the condition.
Reducing Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Certain medical conditions and lifestyle choices can put people at higher risk for heart disease and it is believed that around half of Americans have at least one key risk factor, which can include:
· High blood pressure
· High blood cholesterol
· Being overweight/obesity
· Physical inactivity
· Poor diet
· Excessive alcohol consumption
A heart disease can be life threatening, but many heart attacks and strokes can be avoided. The American Heart Association states that 80% of cases can be prevented by avoiding tobacco use, maintaining a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, and having regular health checks. For the average individual, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and controlling blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol levels, can add 10 years to their lifespan and reverse certain risk factors for heart disease.
While a heart disease can usually be treated with lifestyle changes and medications, surgery may be required depending on the type of heart condition being diagnosed.
Advanced Health Care in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida
At Advanced Medical, we diagnose and treat heart disease, including coronary artery disease, along with many other medical conditions and urgent care needs. For your convenience, we offer advanced and customized treatment options for people of all ages, and can offer many on-site services such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) echocardiography, and pulmonary function testing.
If you are looking for quality medical care, turn to board-certified internist Dr. Gunawardene at one of our convenient locations in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida. For more information, call us today at (561) 434-1935, or you can request an appointment online.