Heart disease is the leading individual cause of disease burden in India and it contributes significantly in total 25% of deaths.
According to the ICMR State-Level Disease Burden Report, among all age groups, the prevalence of heart disease has increased by over 50% from 1990 to 2016 in India, with an increase observed in every state. Heart disease contributes nearly 18 per cent of total deaths in India.
This World Heart Day, based on severity and prevalence, Dr. Bipin Kumar Dubey, Head – Cardiology, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Delhi, has broadly categorised heart diseases that we must be aware of, into five types.
Take a look.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
It is also called atherosclerosis which clinically means hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries, producing blockages in the vessels that carry blood to the heart. It occurs over some time and blocks arteries, thereby restricting blood flow to the heart. CAD is one of the main reasons for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. The most common heart issues ailing at the adult population is suffering from CAD.
In India, current estimates of a burden of heart failure vary from 1.3 to 23 million. The general perception is that heart failure means the heart has stopped working and there is no treatment to revive it. Instead, it means that the heart is not pumping enough blood as it should. It can be a failure of the left side of the heart and the right side of the heart or both. Our body depends on pumping action or heart to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body.
The most important causes of heart failure are a long-standing Ischemic Heart Disease, valvular heart disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Symptoms include shortness of breath, Persistent cough/ coughing, swelling over the body, excessive fatigue and dizziness, and palpitation (increase heart rate).
It refers to any change in the normal sequence of the heartbeat. It involves the electrical impulses of the heart—not the arteries or blockages. These electrical impulses may happen too fast, too slow, or irregularly, which causes the heart to beat the same way. When the heart doesn’t beat normally, it can’t pump blood effectively to the lungs, brain, and other organs, causing them to potentially shut down or become damaged.
Congenital Heart Defects
Different than other types of heart conditions, congenital heart defects are present at birth. These defects are not a disease, but rather an abnormality that occurs while a fetus is developing. Examples include a defective heart valve or hole in interventricular, inter atrial septum (in the walls that separate the heart chambers) and PDA. In some cases, symptoms are visible at birth or during childhood, while others are found later in life. Treatment may or may not be needed, depending on the severity of the defect. Many times heart operations/ Catheter based interventions are required to correct the defect.
A progressive disease that causes the heart to become abnormally enlarged, thickened, and/or stiffened, cardiomyopathy (also known as heart muscle disease) limits the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood effectively. This often leads to other heart conditions such as heart failure or arrhythmia.
Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attack:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Poor diet
• Being overweight or obese
• Inactive lifestyle
• Excessive drinking
Lifestyle modifications like daily morning walk, weight reduction, strict BP and sugar control, healthy eating habits, no smoking and chewing tobacco, reduce salt intake make up a most important part of heart health management along with the treatment of the underlying cause.