1. What is cardiovascular or heart disease and how is it diagnosed?

The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease. Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries), results in insufficient blood delivery to the heart muscle. This will often lead to decreased exercise capacity, symptoms such as chest discomfort, or premature death (heart attack).

The diagnosis is typically made by noninvasive stress testing or cardiac imaging such as CT scans. However, the gold standard for diagnosis is an invasive procedure called cardiac catheterization.

2. If coronary artery blockages are diagnosed, what are the treatment options available to me?

The common options are life style modifications, medical management, coronary stents, or bypass surgery. Lifestyle modifications, medical management, and stents are often used together as ongoing management of your coronary artery disease.

Lifestyle modifications include no smoking, weight loss and healthy diet, and regular exercise. Medications typically involve treatment with pills for blood pressure, heart rate, blood thinning and high cholesterol. Other medications include pills that dilate blood vessels to increase the blood flow to your heart muscle.

Stents can be inserted with minimal patient discomfort and recovery. Patients are typically discharged from the hospital within a couple days.

NOTE: It is important to remember that stents Do Not cure your coronary artery disease.

What can be done to reduce the risk of developing heart disease?

Eat a healthy diet, don’t smoke, maintain an ideal body weight, exercise regularly and see your doctor on a regular basis (for checks on your blood pressure and cholesterol).

Unfortunately some people, who have a family history of heart attacks and angina, can develop coronary heart disease despite following these recommendations. Please inform your local doctor if you have a family history of coronary artery disease.

4. What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

It is important to remember that if you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.

  • Discomfort, tightness, pressure, squeezing in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes or that comes and goes
  • Crushing chest pain
  • Pressure or pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, upper back, jaw or arms
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Clammy sweats, heart flutters or paleness
  • Unexplained feelings of anxiety, fatigue or weakness – especially with exertion
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

5. Why is there a need to act fast?

Death or permanent disability can result from a heart attack. The risk of death or permanent damage can be reduced with timely treatment. Some newer treatments need to be given soon after the onset of a heart attack in order to be effective. It is important to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack of a heart attack and act right away.

6. What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?

One should go through a routine blood test that checks for sugar, cholesterol and Blood Pressure. Moreover, one should also take the treadmill test after an echo.

7. What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?

One needs to keep a strict record of their Diet and exercise. Moreover they should take their prescribed drugs on time. Controlling cholesterol, Blood Pressure and, maintain proper weight are other factors that need special care after a surgery.

8. How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?

Extremely difficult without ECG.

9. What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters?

Decreased awareness has increased incidents. Sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food and lack of exercise contribute to the growing number of heart problems amongst youngsters.

10. How do irregular eating habits affect the heart?

You tend to eat junk food when your eating habits are irregular and thus your body's enzyme, which is released for digestion, gets confused.

11. Does cholesterol accumulates right from an early age or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 40 years of age?

Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

12. Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?

Yes, there is a strong relationship between heart problems and blood sugar. Diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.

Back to Top