Heart | Heartbeat | Factors that cause heart disease | Heart condition and their symptoms | Prevention of heart condition | Coronary Artery Disease | Conclusion
Heart is an important organ in the body. It is of the size of a fist which is situated in the left center of the chest. Heart is divided into right side and left side. This division prevents the impure or oxygen - poor blood and pure or oxygen - rich blood from mixing with each other. The heart beats on an average of 72 times per minute and with each heartbeat, blood carrying oxygen is sent to each cell of the body.
Heart has four chambers, two on the top and two on the bottom. They are:
The two bottom chambers are right ventricle and left ventricle. These pump the blood out of the heart.
The two top chambers are right atrium and left atrium which receive the blood from the other parts of the blood into the heart.
What happens when our heart beats? There are two phases which occur when the heart beats: contraction and relaxation.
In the first phase or contraction, which is also called systole, the ventricles contract, forcing the blood into lungs and body.
In the second phase or relaxation, which is also called diastole, the ventricles relax to get filled by blood coming from upper chambers of the heart.
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According to Merriam Webster dictionary, Heart disease is defined as an abnormal condition of the heart or of the heart and circulation.
In short, it refers to any disorders or issues in heart.
The term "heart disease" is also called "cardiovascular disease." Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke.
Other heart conditions, such as those that affect our heart's muscle, valves or rhythm, are also considered as forms of heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia. One in every four deaths in the U.S. occurs as a result of heart disease.
Factors that develop heart disease:
There are different factors that develop heart disease. some of them are:'
Age: As we grow old, arteries get damaged, narrowed and the heart muscles get thickened.
Gender: Men are more prone to heart diseases compared to women.
Smoking: Heart attacks are common in smokers compared to non - smokers.
Obesity: People with high cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease.
Blood pressure: High blood pressure which is not controlled at the right time hardens and thickens the arteries which narrows the vessels through which the blood flows.
Stress: stress damages the arteries and worsens the risk factors of heart disease.
Drugs: Certain drugs used for the treatment of cancer and other diseases may give rise to heart disease.
Junk food: eating junk food also leads to many heart disease.
Exercise: Less exercise or even sometimes more exercise leads to many heart disease.
Types of Heart condition and their symptoms:
Congenital heart disease: "Congenital" means the condition which is present from birth. Therefore, congenital heart disease is the heart disease which is present from birth. Some examples of such heart diseases are: septal defects, which is a heart disease in which there is a hole between the two chambers of the heart.
The symptoms of congenital heart disease are: sweating, fatigue, fast heartbeat, breathlessness, chest pain, blue tint on the skin and clubbed fingernails.
Pulmonary stenosis: A type of congenital heart disease in which the valve between the right ventricle and pulmonary article called the pulmonary valve becomes narrow, small or stiff which obstructs the blood flow.
The symptoms of pulmonary stenosis include fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath and an abnormal whooshing sound in the heart.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A genetic disorder in which the wall of the left ventricle thickens, making it harder for blood to be pumped out of the heart.
The symptoms of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy are: chest pain, shortness of breath, arrhythmia, dizziness, lightheadedness, swelling in ankles, feet, legs, abdomen and veins in the neck,
Coronary artery disease: Coronary arteries get blocked or damaged due to the deposition of plaques due to cholesterol which causes the heart to be deprived of oxygen and nutrients.
The symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain, breathlessness and heart attack.
Myocardial infarction: It is also known as heart attack which occurs when blood flow stops or decreases to a part of the heart causing damage to the heart muscle. This is usually caused by a blood clot or narrow arteries or spasms.
The symptoms of myocardial infarction are fatigue, dizziness, lightheaded, nausea, breathlessness, fatigue, heartburn, abdominal pain, pressure, tightness, pain in chest.
Arrhythmia: A type of heart condition in which the heart beats are irregular. It occurs when electrical impulses do not coordinate or work properly.
The symptoms of arrhythmia include chest pain, fainting, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and fatigue.
Some heart conditions cannot be prevented if they are from birth but other heart conditions can be prevented by:
Eating a balanced diet: Balanced diet includes less fat, less salt, starch, etc.
Exercising regularly: Exercising 30 minutes a day regularly keeps you healthy.
Maintaining healthy body weight for your height: We can check if our body weight is correct with respect to our height using BMI calculator.
Quitting smoking: Active smokers are affected most with heart disease.
Reducing the intake of alcohol: Reduce or stop drinking alcohol to prevent heart diseases.
Controlling blood pressure and diabetes: Controlling of blood pressure and diabetes can be done by eating balanced diet and exercising.
Meditating to control stress: Meditation and Yoga help in the reduction of stress and thus keeping the heart healthy.
Heart conditions are diagnosed using several devices. When we first visit the doctor regarding our heart condition, blood pressure is checked and a electrocardiogram (ECG) test is done. Once the heart condition is diagnosed they can be treated accordingly.
Several heart conditions can be treated or controlled by medication whereas some complex heart conditions would require surgery like bypass surgery, angioplasty and heart transplants.
Pacemakers and other electronic devices are used in heart conditions where the heart beat is regulated.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death. Some statistics demonstrating the scale of heart disease in the U.S.
63,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to heart disease.
At Least one person dies every minute in the U.S. due to heart related issues.
Mississippi is the state with the highest rate of death from heart disease at 233.1 deaths per 100,000 members of the population followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana. Minnesota, Hawaii, and Colorado which have the lowest rates.
Heart is the most important organ in our body which is needed for us to live. Proper care has to be taken by eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, controlling our blood pressure and sugar level. Although there are medications and surgeries which help us in taking care of our heart but as the quote says, "Prevention is better than cure." Any discomfort felt in breathing or in the chest, contact your doctor immediately. Let us all pledge to take care of ours and our loved ones heart and live a healthy life.