In this edition of In Sickness & In Health, John Veneri visited Adventist Health Castle during Heart Health Month to see Interventional Cardiologist Jamalah Munir to get statistics and information on heart disease.
“The most common form of heart disease is atherosclerosis or hardening/narrowing of the heart arteries which can lead to heart attacks. It is the number one killer of Americans. This is commonly caused by diet and lifestyle choices such as: smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.”
Decreased blood flow to the heart muscle can cause symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath with physical exertion. If these symptoms occur at rest then that could be a sign of a heart attack.
The chest pain is often described as a dull tightness, heaviness, or squeezing sensation, referred to as “angina”. This pain can also travel to the neck, jaw, arms, and upper back.
Causes of heart disease:
High blood pressure
“Treatment of heart disease varies by its presentation. In cases of a heart attack – time is muscle. Performing an urgent angiogram with stent placement is critical to open the artery and restore blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment with medications to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are key. Also aspirin can reduce the risk of heart attacks.
In the outpatient clinic setting, testing may be performed such as exercise treadmill tests, echocardiogram, or nuclear perfusion study to aid with detection of significant heart disease. Sometimes nitroglycerin medication is used to open arteries temporarily for recurrent stable angina. If medications are not effective in reducing symptoms – then an angiogram, stent placement and sometimes coronary bypass surgery is necessary.”
Dr. Munir will be giving a seminar on Thursday February 13th at 6pm the Adventist Health Castle Wellness Center to discuss “Lifestyle Changes for Heart Health”. Contact your primary care doctor for initial evaluation. If necessary a referral to cardiologist for further evaluation. If they need a physician they can give Adventist Health Castle a call.