Preventing the Worsening of Heart Disease by Addressing Risk Factors

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Addressing the common risk factors that cause coronary artery disease (CAD) can help prevent the worsening of heart diseases, according to Dr. Rodney Jimenez, an interventional cardiologist from St. Luke’s Medical Center. In a recent health forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Dr. Jimenez shed light on the causes and prevention of CAD.

CAD is primarily caused by the thickening of plaque, which consists of cholesterol deposits in the arteries that supply blood from the heart. This plaque buildup can lead to heart attacks and breathing difficulties. Dyslipidemia, a condition characterized by abnormal levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, is a widely established independent risk factor for CAD.

Dr. Jimenez emphasized the importance of addressing modifiable risk factors to treat CAD effectively. For instance, individuals with a BMI (body mass index) of 24 and above should consider losing weight. Additionally, reducing the consumption of salty food and foods high in saturated and trans fats, while adopting a healthier lifestyle with regular physical activity, can significantly contribute to preventing the progression of CAD.

It’s crucial to recognize other risk factors associated with CAD, such as genetics, family history of heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, lack of physical activity, sleep apnea, and excessive smoking. By identifying and managing these risk factors, individuals can take proactive steps towards preventing CAD and its complications.

Dr. Jimenez also highlighted the importance of recognizing the symptoms of CAD. Chest pain, weakness, lightheadedness, nausea, shoulder pain or discomfort, and shortness of breath are common symptoms experienced during activities that require physical effort, such as walking, lifting, or exercising. Individuals who frequently experience these symptoms, even at rest, should consult a physician for testing and appropriate medication.

When it comes to CAD, there are three types: mild, stable, and acute coronary syndrome. Understanding the differences between these types is crucial for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Mild CAD refers to a relatively less severe form, while stable CAD indicates a chronic condition that does not worsen over time. Acute coronary syndrome, on the other hand, refers to a sudden and severe blockage of the heart’s blood supply, requiring immediate medical attention.

By addressing modifiable risk factors, recognizing symptoms, and understanding the different types of CAD, individuals can take proactive measures to prevent the progression of this potentially life-threatening condition. Regular check-ups, healthy lifestyle choices, and effective management of risk factors can significantly reduce the risk of developing CAD and its associated complications.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance based on individual risk factors and medical history. By working together, patients and healthcare providers can create an effective plan to address CAD and promote heart health.

Source: The Manila Times

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