Unveiling the Silent Threat: Understanding Heart Disease and Its Impact on Health

Spread the love

Heart disease refers to a range of conditions that can affect the heart. These conditions include those that affect the muscle of the heart, its valves, and the blood vessels that transport blood to and from the heart. Often the term “heart disease” is used synonymously with “cardiovascular disease.” However, heart disease refers primarily to conditions that affect the heart itself while cardiovascular disease refers to diseases that affect the blood vessels and or the heart. It is an important distinction to make, as cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death globally. This is mentioned by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2017) who identify that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. This highlights the relevance of understanding heart disease in today’s society. In addition to its high prevalence, in countries that report life expectancy, heart disease is a relevant issue since the risk of developing heart disease increases as a person gets older. Furthermore, given the heart’s essential role in the body, its malfunction or disease has drastic health implications. The heart is responsible for pumping blood and therefore oxygen and essential nutrients around the body, while also disposing of waste products, impurities, and carbon dioxide. Hence, any trouble that the heart encounters will significantly affect the everyday functioning and health of other body systems. Today, heart disease presents a major health and economic burden, particularly for a developed society faced with an increasing and aging population. This is because it is well known that heart diseases can affect families and their loved ones, and can even drain a country’s economy with regard to medical costs and loss of productivity. These implications will be discussed in further detail in section 1.3. As such, we have a significant national health concern in the UK and other western societies, with many efforts focused on the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Given the scale of the challenge and the rising profile of public health, the National Health Service (NHS, 2017) has stated that society needs to take action as part of a collaborative approach to improve heart health. The NHS advocates for lifestyle behavior changes such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, giving up smoking, and also ensuring that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in a healthy range. Such advice is supported by health professionals, dietitians, and doctors – encouraging a joined-up approach to protect the heart. Well-funded and internationally connected heart research departments such as the British Heart Foundation (2017) also support this. Focusing on long-term studies to better identify heart diseases and their treatments, there are various ongoing research programs and the charity plays a crucial part in public education and engagement – aiming to bring improvements in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to a society where heart diseases currently cause staggering numbers of disability and socioeconomic loss.

Definition of Heart Disease

Heart disease is a term that covers a range of diseases that affect the heart. It is often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease. However, heart disease refers to any disorder of the heart, whereas cardiovascular disease specifically refers to the heart diseases that are caused by atheroma – the disease process that leads to the furring of the arteries. These diseases are the biggest cause of death in the UK. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. It is what happens when the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. These arteries supply the heart muscle with blood. If the blood supply is blocked, the heart muscle will be starved of oxygen and nutrients. This is also sometimes known as ischaemic heart disease. Other types of heart diseases include: heart failure; an irregular heartbeat – this can mean that your heart is beating too fast, too slow or irregularly; and heart valve disease. This is a disease which affects one or more of the valves in the heart. These valves keep blood flowing in the right direction through the heart. They open to allow blood to pass through and then close to stop blood flowing back the other way. With other diseases, there may be many possible causes, but with heart disease the causes are usually very clear. High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, alcohol, being physically inactive and an unhealthy diet can all contribute to increasing your risk of getting heart disease. These reasons for developing the disease are often related to one another. For example, if you are diabetic, it is likely that you are also overweight and physically inactive. As well as suffering with other diabetes related diseases, this can increase the strain on the heart and worsen other diabetes symptoms.

Prevalence and Importance of Heart Disease

All in all, heart disease demands to be treated not just as an individual problem, something that affects only the person who has been diagnosed. Its wide-ranging effects on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the affected person, the demands placed on family and friends, and its place in the wider scheme of public health issues represent heart disease as a complex, multidimensional aspect of the biomedical and sociomedical condition. Its high mortality rates and the sheer number of people diagnosed make it a central focus of investigation and action in the medical and health community.

Third and finally, heart disease also exacerbates existing social and economic inequalities because of its close ties with unhealthy lifestyles. This is especially worrying when considering that poverty and poor education are themselves important risk factors of heart disease. Given that one of the objectives in public health strategies is to try and reduce health inequalities, it is clear that this particular disease occupies a very important position in the practice and resource of health policy and disease prevention.

 Gaming Accessories

Second, the increased pressure on family members who may take on the role of caregiver is also something that stems from heart disease. This increase in responsibility for caregiving, the watching of a once active and vibrant family member slowly decline in health, can be mentally, emotionally, and logistically exhausting. It is clear that heart disease does not remain distributed solely within the confines of the affected person: the simple fact that caregiving – a labor of love that is defined by its outward focus – becomes a central aspect of the heart disease narrative underscores the extent to which family life is restructured as a result of this illness.

First, heart disease can have a negative impact on emotional and mental health. This is because people typically find themselves having to limit their activities to avoid further strain on the heart. Such sudden and dramatic changes to a person’s life can lead to feelings of depression, dejection, and stress. Furthermore, the loss of independence, such as the inability to be employed for long periods, can result in a weakening of the resolve to carry on in the face of the disease.

The prevalence of heart disease is one of the major features that sets it apart from other illnesses. As the leading cause of death in the United States, it affects people from all age groups, races, and cultural backgrounds. In the US alone, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. The total amount of healthcare spending, as a direct result of heart disease, is also extremely high, coming in at more than $10 billion a year. By itself, heart disease is already a major public health issue that should be of great concern to everyone. However, it is also important to recognize that heart disease is not an isolated medical ailment. It has wide-ranging implications that go beyond the individual’s physical health.

Impact on Overall Health

Successful treatment of heart disease can help to mitigate these indirect impacts on overall health by ensuring that a steady, sufficient flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients is restored to the body. However, it can take time for the body to fully recover from conditions caused by the restricted blood flow or inadequate supply. Therefore, healthcare practitioners need to be mindful of the secondary effects a patient with heart disease might be experiencing when planning their care. By identifying and addressing issues such as a slower healing response or susceptibility to infection, medical intervention can be more targeted, and the overall quality of life for the person may be significantly improved.

These various effects combine to place additional strain on the person experiencing heart disease. For instance, the reduction of oxygen and nutrients in the blood flow will put extra stress on the joints, causing discomfort and reducing the ease and range of movement. Similarly, the body’s ability to effectively repair damaged tissues in these areas is compromised. Such chronic effects can lead to a decrease in self-confidence and feelings of depression and isolation.

In more advanced cases of heart disease, when the heart’s ability to pump blood is impaired, blood and other fluids can back up into the lungs, liver, digestive tract, and extremities, leading to profound and multiple system-wide effects. For example, people may start to retain fluid, becoming swollen (‘oedematous’), particularly in the tissues of the legs and abdomen. This can cause discomfort or pain, affect walking and other physical activities, and lead to muscle weakness because of the increased weight being carried. Liver function may become impaired and normally simple digestive processes more complex due to changes in the blood flow patterns. Digestive symptoms might include a sensation of fullness, bloating, belching, food sticking, and changes in the frequency of bowel movements. Such symptoms can, in turn, impact a person’s nutritional status; discomfort and associated fatigue may reduce the desire to eat, whilst altered digestive movements may interfere with absorptive and digestive processes, leading to weight disturbances or deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.

Heart disease can have a direct impact on the blood circulating throughout the body. It can also cause more indirect effects on muscles, joints, and other body systems by altering the oxygen supply and nutrients that these systems receive. When blood vessels narrow, blood flow to specific areas of the body is often restricted. So, in addition to complications such as heart attacks and strokes, people with heart disease may also find that their bodies require more time to heal from simple injuries such as cuts or scratches. They might also notice that they are more susceptible to infections, as the immune system can be less effective if the blood is not transporting oxygen and white blood cells as efficiently as it should be.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Indeed, the risk of developing heart disease can be substantially reduced by controlling the modifiable risk factors. The first and the most well-known risk contributor is high blood pressure, medically known as hypertension. Over time, the elevated pressure can cause harm to the delicate arterial blood vessels, which leads to the development of heart disease. Another major risk factor is high blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in the blood, and high blood cholesterol levels can increase the possibility for cholesterol to be deposited alongside the arterial wall, which can eventually lead to atherosclerosis. Also, smoking is a very dangerous habit that greatly increases the likelihood of heart disease development. The chemicals that are present in cigarette smoke can harm the heart and blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to the formation of blood clots. Other modifiable risk factors include diabetes, obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity. Diabetes causes a condition called atherosclerosis. It can also alter the body’s capability to make effective use of the blood vessels, which can hamper with the process of the heart muscles obtaining nutrients from the blood. Obesity, when related to the presence of excess body fat, is a major risk factor for heart disease. The individuals who are obese tend to have higher levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower good cholesterol levels in the blood. Such alterations may lead to atherosclerosis that impedes normal blood circulation and increases the risk of catastrophic events such as heart attack and stroke. A poor diet, which is medically defined as a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol, has been well recognized as a significant contributor to the progress of atherosclerosis. On the other hand, physical inactivity can gradually weaken the effectiveness of the body’s internal mechanisms of blood circulation and blood regulation. When the heart and blood vessels are not regularly challenged to produce efficient response to alternative physical demands, sedentary activities over a prolonged period of time can cause the associated muscles to become less effective and responsive in the maintenance of a normal distribution of blood throughout the body. On the contrary, a proper level of physical challenge helps to maintain the functional efficiency of the blood circulation regulators. With regular physical activities, blood cholesterol levels can be controlled and blood pressure can be maintained at healthy levels. Besides, the body’s ability to metabolize sugar may be enhanced, thus helping to control body weight; and the materials for heart and vessel growth can be kept pliable and adaptive to the ever-changing physical needs. Last but not least, mental stability can be achieved and maintained through physical activities, which means that excessive stress to the heart, such as a sudden over-exertion by the sedentary heart to accomplish a physically-demanding task, can be minimized and prevented.

Modifiable Risk Factors

All these lifestyles and habits can lead to disease and distress, but the good news is that all of these factors can be modified and, as a result, the overall risk of heart disease can be lowered.

Lastly, the most significant modifiable risk factor is smoking. It damages the blood and blood vessels, causing inflammation which can lead to arteriosclerosis, or the thickening and hardening of the artery walls. Smoking is not only a major cause of coronary heart disease but can also reduce the supply of oxygen to the heart and increase both the heart rate and blood pressure.

Excessive alcohol consumption, though previously believed to be unrelated to heart disease, is now known to elevate levels of blood pressure and is a leading cause of cardiomyopathy, which is a stretching and drooping of the heart muscle.

The most common reason for obesity is a combination of eating too much and not being active enough. Genes, age, sex, and lifestyle can all play a role in weight management, but the two simple fundamentals for combating weight.

A poor diet also puts people at an increased risk for heart disease. Research has found that a diet high in saturated and trans fats can contribute to high cholesterol and other cardiovascular conditions.

High cholesterol, which has no obvious symptoms and might be unknowingly high, presents another risk. Cholesterol is a necessary type of fat that is carried in the blood; however, too much cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries. Eventually, the arteries can become narrowed or completely blocked, and this decreased blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain, or angina, and even lead to a heart attack.

High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems such as heart disease. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it can go undetected and untreated for years. The excess strain and damage caused by high blood pressure can harm the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle with blood, as well as the rest of the body’s arteries.

Now, let’s turn our focus to the risk factors themselves. Modifiable risk factors are aspects of life that can be changed and might raise the chances of developing heart disease. This list includes high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, poor diet, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. Each of these will be explored in more detail below.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Non-modifiable risk factors are those that you cannot control. A family history of cardiovascular disease is a significant risk factor, particularly if a father or brother was diagnosed with heart disease before age 55, or a mother or sister was diagnosed before age 65. Other non-modifiable risk factors include age and gender – the older you get, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. Post-menopausal women are more likely to develop heart disease because their bodies produce less estrogen. Pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia can be indicators of an increased risk of developing heart disease. Also, people with an ethnic background – specifically South Asian, African or African Caribbean – have an increased risk; this is in part due to the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in these communities. Finally, identifying patients who have lifelong exposure to high cholesterol levels (for example, patients with familial hypercholesterolemia) is now a Quality and Outcome Framework (QOF) indicator. This is an important development as it has both clinical and financial implications for practices – and may prompt action to diagnose and manage such patients earlier in primary care.

Types and Symptoms of Heart Disease

Heart disease is a term that encompasses a range of diseases that affect the heart. This section will cover the different types of heart disease and their associated symptoms. First, it is important to identify the early signs of a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. Consequently, part of the heart muscle is deprived of blood and will begin to die. Typical symptoms of a heart attack include: chest discomfort or pain that doesn’t go away. This discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain; and discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including feelings of ‘pins and needles’ in the arms; shortness of breath; and clammy skin. It’s important to acknowledge that heart attacks can vary in their presentation – they do not always cause a sudden and dramatic pain in the chest. Rather, the chest discomfort can come on slowly over a period of time. It may come and go over a few hours. This and other symptoms – like shortness of breath, nausea and a rapid and weak thumping in the chest, that feels like it’s ‘fluttering’ or that the heart is ‘racing’ – can be confused with other conditions. If a heart attack is suspected, it’s crucial that emergency medical treatment is sought without delay. In case of doubt, it’s advisable to call an ambulance rather than waiting to see if symptoms go away. Prompt treatment can save lives and limit damage to the heart. Second, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. This occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply the heart’s muscle with blood, become narrowed or occluded, leading to ischemia (a shortage of blood to the heart muscle). Ischemia can cause symptoms such as chest pain (angina) and, if it is prolonged, a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Third, heart failure is often a consequence of other cardiac problems. It describes a situation where the heart is unable to maintain proper output of blood. Symptoms of heart failure include breathlessness, particularly when lying flat; and symptoms of fluid retention, such as ankle swelling. Fourth, arrhythmias are disorders of the heart’s rhythm. Although there are many different types of arrhythmia, they collectively account for a significant number of deaths in the UK. Symptoms of arrhythmia can include palpitations (where the heart is ‘thumping’ or ‘fluttering’), light-headedness or dizziness; breathlessness; and fainting. It is important to note that some people, however, may not experience any symptoms at all. This type of heart disease occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. It is crucial that we educate the patients about the different types of heart disease and their associated symptoms so we can promote more effective self-management of the diseases in our society today. This addition to the current knowledge base of heart disease will enable the general public to recognize symptoms and signs of the diseases early and seek adequate medical help to prevent further health deterioration.

Coronary Artery Disease

It’s important to consult or refer a physician if you or someone you know suffers from CAD. By recognizing the symptoms and managing the condition effectively, the risk of heart attacks and heart-related death can be substantially reduced.

Family history and inherited genes, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, a lack of physical activity, obesity, and an unhealthy diet are all risk factors for the development of CAD. There are a range of different treatments available, depending on the severity of the condition. These include lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and making adjustments to the diet, medications to address issues such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and surgical procedures to open up the arteries, such as stents or coronary artery bypass grafts. In severe cases, a heart transplant might be necessary.

Women can experience chest pain in all the ways that men do, but are more likely to also experience pain in the back and shoulders, shortness of breath, and nausea. It is important to be aware of the varied symptoms in order for CAD to be diagnosed and treated early.

The main symptoms of CAD are chest pain and discomfort, known as angina. Angina might feel like a heaviness or tightness in the chest, and it may be triggered by stress or physical activity. It is usually relieved within a few minutes by resting or by using the angina medication, GTN spray. However, if the blood supply to the heart becomes severely restricted, the chest pain can be more prolonged and the heart muscle does not receive enough blood, a heart attack (myocardial infarction) can occur. This can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle and, in some cases, be fatal.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It is caused by atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. These build-ups narrow the arteries and obstruct blood flow to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, and the body’s vital organs might not receive enough blood. Over time, this can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure.

Heart Failure

One type of heart disease covered by the book is “heart failure”. The name can be a little misleading, as it suggests that the heart is not working at all anymore. In reality, heart failure refers to a syndrome in which the heart slowly becomes weaker. As we have learned, the heart is a muscle made of many tiny parts called “cells”. All these cells have to work together to make the whole heart pump blood around the body. However, over time, these cells can become damaged and the heart can start to grow bigger. As the heart grows bigger, it also grows weaker. This is because the walls of the heart – which are made of muscle – start to stretch. When muscle fibers stretch, they are not able to do their job so well and pump blood. As well as this, the stretched muscle walls put extra pressure on the heart’s chambers. This extra pressure means that blood entering the heart cannot move through the heart efficiently. This leads to blood “backing up” and “pooling” in the body. For example, if blood pools in the veins leading to the heart, it can cause a buildup of fluid in the body’s tissues. This is why one of the main symptoms of heart failure is swollen legs and ankles. This is known as “edema”. Another symptom of heart failure is extreme tiredness and weakness. This is because not enough blood is reaching the body’s organs and muscles to allow them to work properly. As a result, those with heart failure will often feel very weak and not able to do much physical activity. In addition to this, the buildup of fluid in the lungs can cause persistent coughing and wheezing. This is because the body’s natural response to fluid in the lungs is to try and cough it out. Overall, the signs of heart failure are caused by the weakening of the heart as it becomes less and less able to supply the body with the blood and energy it needs.


Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. The heart has an electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of the heart. When the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats don’t work properly, the result is an arrhythmia. There are many types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too fast, too slow or with an irregular rhythm. Most arrhythmias are not serious health threats but some can cause serious problems such as stroke or cardiac arrest. The symptoms and signs of an arrhythmia can range from no symptoms at all to feeling as though you might die. There are many reasons why a person may experience an arrhythmia; for example, a person may be born with a heart conduction disorder or they may develop it because of a heart attack. High blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions can also affect a person’s heart rhythm. Some people can be sensitive to the caffeine in coffee, tea, or energy drinks, and this can cause their heart to beat quickly or irregularly. Illegal drugs can cause life-threatening irregular heartbeats. If the heart is beating too fast or too slow, the doctor may want to record the heart’s electrical activity over a certain period of time. This is done by wearing an electrocardiogram, which is a small machine that records the heart rhythm. It is often used when patients have intermittent symptoms like palpitations. Some arrhythmias may be treated with medication, while others can be treated with an implanted device, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. Modern technology has greatly helped to improve the quality of life in patients with various arrhythmias. For example, research at the Genome Institute has led to important discoveries in the genetic basis of heart disorders. This has led to the availability of genetics tests in order to identify the cause of some arrhythmias. With this new information, therapies have been refined and are now more based on what the gene mutation is. This means that the treatment is more personal to the patient, in line with the idea of modern medicine and the concept of personalized medicine. As the field of genetics continues to grow and enhance overall medical knowledge, the hope is that further development in genetics and other scientific areas will continue to improve patient care and treatment for those suffering with cardiovascular diseases like arrhythmias.

Prevention and Treatment of Heart Disease

However, as with many conditions, lifestyle changes are often the best form of prevention and treatment. This can include having a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, stopping smoking, and reducing stress. The sooner a patient becomes active about their health, by implementing such changes, the greater the benefits will be.

Treatments for heart disease include medical procedures, medications, and lifestyle changes. The overall goal is to either prevent the heart disease that a patient may have or to provide treatment to alleviate symptoms if already present. Some common medications include vasodilators to open up blood vessels, beta blockers to slow the heartbeat down and open up blood vessels, and diuretics to make people pass more urine. Some common surgical procedures include angioplasty and stent and coronary artery bypass grafting. Nowadays, because of modern technology, there are many types of heart disease surgeries that are minimally invasive, such as robotically assisted heart surgery. Such a treatment option presents patients with smaller incisions, less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and quicker return to everyday activities.

Last but not least, psychological factors can also lead to heart disease. Studies have shown that stress, depression, and social isolation all are associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease. It is still unknown how psychosocial risk factors such as stress increase the risk of heart disease. However, it has been shown that long-term activation of the stress-response system and overexposure to stress hormones can lead to physiological changes, such as high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and even changes in the normal heart’s rhythm.

Another key element of prevention is a healthy diet. A balanced diet can help to control, and in some cases even prevent heart disease. A diet that is high in fiber, fruit and vegetables, and low in saturated fats will help to lower high cholesterol but also help to reduce the risk of other conditions, such as high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. Also, salt should be limited in the diet. Having a high salt intake can raise high blood pressure, which puts an added strain on your heart and can lead to heart disease. Other chemicals such as caffeine and alcohol should be taken in moderation.

Prevention and treatment are critical to managing heart disease. The main goal is to prevent the associated health risks and reduce the risk of future heart diseases. One of the key elements of prevention is exercise. A sedentary lifestyle is a very common risk factor for heart disease and so is being overweight. Not only can it help to control your weight, it can also help to reduce the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. In addition, exercise can also have a positive effect on other risk factors by helping to improve blood circulation and the body’s ability to use oxygen. It can also help to reduce the risk of heart disease in people who have already had a heart attack.

Lifestyle Changes

Developing healthier habits can play a crucial role in both preventing and treating heart disease. Making small changes in our daily lives can lead to significant improvements in our heart health. For example, many studies have shown that physical activity helps the heart to pump blood more efficiently. It is also an effective way to lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise makes the heart stronger and it can help a person stay at a healthy weight. It can also help a person to quit smoking. Smoking significantly increases the risk of heart disease and many other health problems. It is the most important preventable cause of many premature deaths. Smoking is harmful and it can block the blood flow and the oxygen to the heart. Without oxygen, the heart gets damaged and weakened. If a person has a heart disease, doctors may recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program. Studies show that these programs can reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. The program includes exercise training, education on heart healthy living and counseling. Meditation can also be one of the most valuable tools for relaxing and managing the stress of quitting smoking and lowering high blood pressure. It is the act of focusing the mind and controlling the flow of breath. Many studies have shown that meditation is effective in lowering blood pressure. In the conclusion of this section, readers are encouraged to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle that can help them to prevent heart disease. In this chapter, we introduced some of the lifestyle changes recommended for reducing the risk of heart disease. However, it is important to note that early detection of heart disease is a key in preventing the worsening of the disease. Also, successful heart disease prevention relies on a person’s willingness to make recommended lifestyle changes. We also take a brief look at some of the diagnostic tests used by the clinicians to diagnose and monitor heart disease. These tests help the healthcare providers to find out if coronary arteries are narrowed, identify a heart attack, check the pumping function of the heart and determine the most effective treatment. It is hoped that with knowledge gained from the book, individuals can find ways to adopt the recommended life changing skills to promote healthy hearts.

Medications and Medical Procedures

Overall, medical procedures are used in the treatment of heart disease to help improve symptoms, reduce the risk of associated heart problems, and ultimately provide additional years of life to those living with the condition. By combining safer and more effective procedures with dedicated professionals and the latest in medical research, the future for individuals with heart disease continues to look more hopeful.

Another example of a medical procedure to treat heart disease is the use of a pacemaker. This is a small device that’s implanted under the skin, most commonly below the collarbone, and is connected to the heart with one or more leads. It’s commonly used to help control and regulate abnormal heart rhythms and works by monitoring the electrical impulses of the heart, and when necessary, sending electrical pulses to help the heart beat at a normal rate. Various types of pacemaker are available, some of which can also help to coordinate the contractions of the left and right ventricles of the heart.

One of the most common types of heart disease, coronary artery disease, is treated using a medical procedure called an angioplasty. This procedure involves inflating a small balloon inside a narrowed artery to help improve blood flow to the heart, and is often performed alongside the insertion of a small metal tube called a stent to help keep the artery open. In more serious cases of coronary artery disease, a type of surgery known as a coronary artery bypass graft may be required. This procedure involves taking a blood vessel from another part of the body – such as a leg or the chest – and attaching it to the artery on one side of the blockage and the other, bypassing the narrowed or blocked area so that blood can follow the new route.

Advancements in medical technology have led to the development of a variety of different medications for heart disease. The type of medication prescribed by a doctor will depend on the specific type of heart disease that a patient has and can include drugs to manage blood pressure, cholesterol, and the build-up of fluid around the heart. In more severe cases, medication may not be enough to control a person’s condition and medical procedures such as surgery or the implantation of medical devices may be required.

Fitness category - Get Fit for summer