Heart disease is a silent and chronic killer of many people all over the world. It is, in essence, an unhealthy state of your heart that might lead to death. It does not just affect individuals who are diagnosed with cardiovascular-related illnesses such as hypertension and stroke. But even those who don’t exhibit symptoms of such diseases can still suffer from heart disease as it may be asymptomatic or remain undiagnosed for years. A state of heart disease occurs when your arteries and blood vessels become enlarged, thin, and weak due to atherosclerosis (hardening and build-up of plaque) and increasing age. It results to decreased blood flow and oxygenation to vital organs such as the brain.
A family history of heart disease
High blood pressure
High cholesterol levels
High blood fats when tested with a lipid panel
High blood sugar when tested with a glucose tolerance test
Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol/triglycerides)
Are you at risk? If you answer yes to two or more of the above risk factors, you should consider screening for heart disease. Why? Heart disease can be very serious and it’s best to know if you’re at risk before beginning treatment.
1. Cardiovascular diseases: These include atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.
2. Arrhythmias: These include atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia and heart block.
3. Hypertension: This is a chronic condition that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
4. Congestive heart failure: This disorder affects the circulatory system, causing damage to the heart muscle, leading to low blood pressure and impaired pumping ability of the system.
5. Pulmonary embolism: This is a serious medical condition caused by blockage of an artery in the lungs by particles found in blood or air bubbles which may cause inflammation of tissues surrounding arteries or veins. It can be fatal if not treated immediately because it blocks blood flow to vital organs such as the brain, kidneys and lungs.