Heart age and risk factors

World Heart Day is commemorated every year, on the 29th of September in order to spread awareness about the risk factors for heart diseases and stroke, as well as to provide information on the ways in which a person can have a healthy heart.

However, the heart can become vulnerable to habitual risk factors like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet or putting it under stress. The system can also be weakened from a pre-existing heart condition. When your heart’s functions become compromised, this is known as cardiovascular disease, a broad term that covers any disorder to the system that has the heart at its center.

The WHO defines a risk factor as an attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury. It should be noted, however, that just because a person has a risk factor for heart disease, it does not mean that they will necessarily develop that disease. It does, however, mean that the person’s likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases increases. The risk factors for heart disease can be divided into two types – modifiable and non-modifiable.

  • Modifiable risk factors: Those that can be eliminated through medical intervention or lifestyle changes
    • Obesity
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Lack of physical activity
    • High BP
    • Diabetes
    • Tobacco use
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Cholesterol
  • Non-modifiable risk factors: Those that cannot be eliminated, but rather have to be worked around through a healthy lifestyle
    • A family  history of heart disease
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Socioeconomic status                                                                   

                                                              YOUR HEART AGE

While your chronological age is the number of years that you have lived since your birth, you heart age is a little more complex. Your heart age is one way to ascertain your risk for a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. It is calculated by using the following metrics: your age, family history with heart disease, diet, physical activity, smoking, weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. A higher heart age implies that you might be at a greater risk for heart disease. The aforementioned metrics are not chosen arbitrarily, in fact, they are the leading risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

You can now check your own heart age with the Aster Clinic heart age calculator. Just provide the online tool with the necessary information and have your heart age calculated for you.

                                                          Visit: www.myheartage.net 

Get your free healthy heart packages at selected Aster Clinics. You can also avail of customized, discounted heart packages starting from AED 329 only.

 

 

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The Need for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

A normal coronary artery is responsible for transferring blood to the cardiac muscles. Damage or disease can lead to the deposition of plaque on its inner wall, which solidifies over time and obstructs the passage of blood. Hence, the heart muscle doesn’t get adequate blood. Coronary disease (i.e., blockage in coronary arteries) usually present with symptoms of Angina (chest pain) and breathlessness.

The line of treatment depends upon the percentage and the number of coronary arteries that are blocked. If the blockage is less than 70%, then medical management i.e., by medicine and lifestyle modification is advised. Non-surgical PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention i.e., coronary stent) is done when the blockage is more than 70% and present in one or two coronary arteries.

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The Management of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), where your arteries harden, blood flow is disrupted, and heart muscles weaken, is a concerning, potentially fatal disease. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that doctors are regularly asked if it is possible to cure CAD. The answer you’ll get from most cardiologists in Dubai confirms that heart conditions can’t be cured per se, much like diabetes, or hypertension. They can, however, be managed and controlled.

CAD is a condition that can be effectively managed with the help of lifestyle changes and by minimizing risk factors. Dean Ornish, Founder, President, and MD, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, has written a book in which he elaborates on the patients with CAD who were in line for a heart transplant but who enrolled in the Ornish program and were able to reverse the damage to their heart to a great extent. What does that tell you? It’s evidence that the risk factors for coronary conditions are modifiable. For instance, you can control diabetes, keep your cholesterol under the threshold, and it’ll help prevent the heart condition from worsening.

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The Causes of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is mostly the result of circumstances which hinder the adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart by disrupting the blood flow. There’s a network of arteries surrounding your heart. Over the years, because of factors including diseases, plaque build-up, or damage, these arteries get narrowed, making it difficult for blood to pass through in the required amount, thus leading to a lack of blood in the heart, followed by chest pains, shortness of breath, and other similar symptoms.

It can be challenging to diagnose Coronary Artery Disease because it develops over many years and begins depicting symptoms very slowly. In fact, in many cases, the patients come to know of their CAD diagnosis only after they’ve had a heart attack.

The most prominent cause of coronary artery disease is Atherosclerosis, say cardiology doctors in Abu Dhabi.

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The Harmful Effects Of Passive Smoking

If you smoke or have a family member who does, passive smoking and its effects on those who live with you must have crossed your mind at times. And it should!

The non-smokers who face tobacco smoke at work or home develop 25-30% higher chances of suffering from heart diseases. Passive smoking poses a major health concern and can turn fatal if the non-smoker in question is already sick and at high risk for heart diseases.

The Cardiology doctors in Dubai suggest keeping expecting mothers away from smokers. If a pregnant lady is exposed to cigarette smoke, the baby could have low birth weight and higher chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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