According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number killer in the United States. Recent data shows one-third of heart disease’ victims die, before the disease is diagnosed.
Heart disease refers to different types of issues that an individual may have with their heart.
- Heart attack is caused by a blood clot that block the blood flow to a part of the heart.
- Heart failure is the result of the heart pumping an insufficient amount of blood.
- Arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm.
- Stenosis occurs when the heart valves are not working properly. The valves must open enough to allow the blood to flow through freely.
In nearly one-third of patients, who suffer from coronary disease will not find out until it is too late. In fact, the first symptom is sudden death in these patients, which is the result of a heart attack that causes ventricular fibrillation, a lethal heart rhythm abnormality.
Heart Disease Statistics
A fact that most people do not realize is nearly everyone has some risk of heart disease. Over 800,000 people succumb to cardiovascular disease each year, which is one in every three deaths, with 160,000 victims are under the age of 65. The number of people that die from heart disease is roughly the same as lower respiratory diseases, accidents and cancer combined.
Is Cardiac Arrest The Same As A Heart Attack?
Many people are under the impression that heart attack is the same as cardiac arrest. This is a huge misconception, because a heart attack is the result a blood clot that suddenly occludes the coronary artery. When cholesterol plague breaks, it will precipitate the formation of a blood clot.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart no longer pumps blood effectively, so there is no blood pressure. Ventricular fibrillation is the most common cause of cardiac arrest and often associated with a heart attack.
The coronary calcium score test is the most effective in diagnosing heart disease. A stress test or EKG are not effective in diagnosing heart disease, even though many physicians will order them, when they patient exhibits signs of the condition. Men over the age of 45 and women over 50 should have a coronary calcium test. CT scanning is utilized to measure the amount and location of calcified plaque in the arteries. The test is capable of detecting disease, even in cases where the arteries are less than 50 percent blocked.
Heart Disease Prevention
Family history plays a huge role in the risk of heart disease, making the probability higher. Once a patient is diagnosed with heart disease, the physician will prescribe a daily regimen of aspirin and Crestor or Lipitor to lower bad cholesterol levels. Routine cardiologist appointments and exercises will also help, but it will not eliminate the risks of a heart attack.
Smoking cessation, maintaining blood pressure levels and regular exercise, along with maintaining an ideal weight are the most effective lifestyle changes that will lower the risks of heart disease.