The effect of Ramadan on Cardiac Patients

Ramadan is an ideal platform to target year long lifestyle modification, to ensure that whatever health care benefits have been gained during this month, are perpetuated.

Patients with stable Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) can observe fasting during Ramadan without anticipating any major adverse cardiac events while those with unstable disease or recent/pending revascularization should largely refrain from fasting. Previous studies have shown that neither has there been an increase in the incidences of acute myocardial infarction nor has there been an increase in the number of patients hospitalized due to heart failure, during Ramadan.

A fairly small group of patients with cardiac conditions should be advised to refrain from fasting during Ramadan. These include patients with acute cardiac illnesses like Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). Patients with uncontrolled HTN requiring multiple dosages during the daytime should be counseled against fasting. Patients with severe congestive heart failure (CHF) requiring high doses of diuretics should also refrain from fasting.

Patients are encouraged to seek medical advice 1 or 2 months before Ramadan in order to adjust their medications if needed. Drugs given thrice daily can be usually changed to single sustained doses.

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Heart Failure: A guideline to optimizing care

Heart failure (HF) is a syndrome resulting from the structural or functional impairment of the ventricular filling or the ejection of blood. Approximately 1% to 2% of adults in developed countries are affected by HF. The risk of HF increases with age, and HF is thought to affect over 10% of adults above 70 years of age. Though common cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are all prevalent in patients with HF, hypertension is an important cause of HF. Common symptoms of HF include dyspnea, orthopnea, acute pulmonary edema, chest pain, tachycardia, fatigue, weight loss, nausea, and wheezing.

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