World Heart Day 2023: Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs), one of the major Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), are a group of disorders of heart and blood vessels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CVDs are the leading cause of death globally.
The global health agency maintains that an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32 percent of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85 percent were due to heart attack and stroke.
According to the World Heart Federation (WHF), NCDs, including CVDs, are estimated to account for 60 percent of total adult deaths in India. Every year, 29 September is marked as World Heart Day to raise awareness about various heart diseases.
Here are the top 7 cardiac disorders that you should be aware of:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the most common heart diseases. In this disorder, the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart may get blocked. According to experts, the disease usually starts as a result of atherosclerosis, a condition sometimes called hardening of the arteries. CAD can lead to pain in your chest, called angina, or lead to a heart attack.
- Heart Arrhythmias: Arrhythmias occur when your heart has an irregular beating pattern.
- Heart Failure: When the heart stops pumping blood properly, it may lead to heart failure. According to health experts, it is usually caused by coronary artery disease. However, it can also happen if you have thyroid disease, high blood pressure, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), or certain other conditions.
- Heart Valve Disease: The valves in the heart are responsible for directing blood flow between your heart’s four chambers, the lungs, and blood vessels. However, sometimes certain abnormalities can lead to valves not performing properly. This can lead to blockage or leakage of blood flow. The causes of heart valve problems include infections such as rheumatic fever, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or as a result of a heart attack.
- Pericardial Disease: The sac around the heart is known as Pericardium and the diseases associated with it are called pericardial disease. According to doctors, one of the more common diseases is pericarditis or inflammation of the pericardium. Studies suggest that it is usually caused by an infection with a virus, inflammatory diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or injury to your pericardium. Pericarditis often follows open heart surgery.
- Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease): Cardiomyopathy is a disease of your heart muscle, or myocardium. In this condition, the muscle gets stretched, thickened, or stiff. Consequently, your heart may get too weak to pump well. There are many possible causes of the disease, including genetic heart conditions, reactions to certain drugs or toxins (such as alcohol), and infections from a virus. Sometimes, chemotherapy causes cardiomyopathy. In certain cases, its hard to find the exact cause.
- Congenital Heart Disease: Congenital heart disease occurs when something goes wrong while the heart is forming in a baby that’s still in the womb. Doctors maintain that the heart abnormality sometimes leads to problems right after birth, but other times there aren’t any symptoms until you become an adult. Septal abnormalities and pulmonary stenosis are some of the common congenital heart problems.
What are the risk factors?
- Age (For men, the risk of heart disease goes up after age 55; for women, the risk rises sharply after menopause.)
- Being inactive
- Having diabetes or metabolic syndrome
- Family history of coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High levels of LDL or low levels of HDL
What are the early signs?
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Coughing or Wheezing
- Swelling in the Legs, Ankles, or Feet