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1. Introduction

 

Fewer men and women are dying of heart disease but as we live longer, keeping active and healthy becomes increasingly important.

The benefits of lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and stopping smoking are unfortunately offset by increasing incidence of obesity and diabetes as well as physical inactivity, so all aspects of heart health need attention: not just one or two.

Most heart attacks, 90% in fact, are caused by factors we can do something about.

We use na innovative methodological method based on most frenquently questions of patients and families we give the answers in most simple way.

We try to desmitify the medicine and the complex and technical terms more used.

We try to bring medicine to a normal citizen.

We do not have all the answers, but we have a lot we can work on.

When we are happy and feeling well, it is only natural to put aside all thoughts of illness. Life, after all, is meant to be enjoyed.

Many people are, however, aware that heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease, can brutally interrupt that happiness.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) remains the single most important cause of premature death in the most develop countries.

Death from heart disease is not always as quick and painless as is sometimes thought.

Many people suffer a prolonged period of disability as the result of chest pain and breathlessness.

Yet, to a large extent, coronary artery disease is preventable, not completely of course, but we can certainly improve our chances of avoiding heart disease by quite simple manoeuvres.

 It is often said that the advice on preventing heart disease is confused and conflicting, particularly over the matter of what is healthy eating.

This is really not true as we can see later.

There will always be some debate over details, but the broad thrust of dietary advice, particularly concerning a reduction in animal fats and an increase in fresh fruit and vegetables, finds favour with the vast majority of experts in the field.

So, too, does the advice about regular physical activity and avoiding cigarette smoking.

Reducing the risks of heart disease does not require complicated dietary regimens or joining expensive health clubs.

In order to reach more persons and try for the first time in the world make a Cardiovascular Prevention Disease (CDP) we created in Facebook one Group of same name and a public page and a simple library integrated in our Department of Prevention Heart Diseases of our ONG International White Cross.

Some members of CDP Facebook Group and readers of this course will already have symptoms of coronary heart disease. For those, the new world of tests and possible treatments can be totally bewildering. The language and terminology alone is enough to terrify you!

We try to takes you reader on a voyage of discovery and explanation in his clearly, simple, and good humored texts results of our speaks, which should allay fear through awareness of what heart disease is all about.

Sometimes medical advice seems contradictory? one minute its one recommendation and the next it is another. That is the nature of research and progress.

A series of events may come together to lead to the belief that a form of diet or treatment will be of benefit but that belief must be translated into proof. Sometimes what appear to be good ideas just do not work when rigorously tested.

The CDP Facebook Group and his Public Page is principally about your heart: how to keep it strong or, if it has been weakened in some way, how to make it as strong as possible.

The major cause of weakening of your heart is called coronary disease (CD) or coronary artery disease (CAD). The coronary arteries are those arteries which feed the heart itself.

They arise from the main artery leaving the heart, the aorta, and run around the outside of the heart, sending many branches into the heart muscle.

 They deliver oxygen and energy so that the heart can do its job of pumping blood around the body. If the coronary arteries become narrowed, the blood supply to the heart will be restricted.

The result is that when the heart needs to beat faster (e.g. when you are walking up a hill), your heart will be starved of energy and begin to complain, usually by causing chest pain (known as angina).

If a coronary artery blocks completely, there will a sudden loss of blood to a portion of heart muscle, chemicals build up, you will experience severe pain and a heart attack occurs as the muscle stops working.

If a big coronary artery blocks, the heart attack will be large, but if a small artery is blocked, only a small loss of muscle will happen.

Coronary disease is our greatest medical enemy and as much a threat to women as to men.

Women may think of it as a man disease, but it is an equal opportunity killer with no respect for sex, race or religion.

Coronary heart disease kills nearly 170 000-200 000 men and women in the most developed countries of European Union (EU) each year, and in USA 500 000-600.000 adults die each year of coronary artery disease; half of these are women.

This means that an average of more 500 people a day (or more than one person every three minutes) die from coronary artery disease in the most developed countries of EU.

Women may be more afraid of breast cancer but it is five times as likely that they will die from the consequences of heart disease. It is so common that one in three adults of both sexes over 65 years of age has some form of heart disease.

The cost of coronary disease affects both you personally (causing stress and uncertainty, and affecting social and family life) and the community.

The key to preventing coronary disease happening to you is to understand the causes and to know-how to reduce the chances of it developing.

It is never too late to act for yourself and your family.

We will discover how the heart works and how coronary artery disease develops. Prevention is emphasized.

Prevention before heart problems occur is called primary prevention and prevention after you have been diagnosed as having coronary disease is called secondary prevention.

Both are important? When you have a disease, you want to stop it getting worse, and when you have no evidence of disease, you want to keep it that way.

We are concerned with diet, exercise, smoking and blood pressure control, and the importance of reducing your risk factors for coronary disease. A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of developing a disease, and an easy example of this is cigarette smoking.

Smokers have more coronary disease than non- smokers, and smokers who quit reduce their risk to the same as non-smokers after a period of 4-5 years.

Advice is given on risk factors and how to minimize your risk.

The consequences of coronary artery disease are discussed with advice on treatments available, and how you can help yourself.

Doctors need to have good evidence that a form of treatment is effective and this is known as evidence-based medicine.

It is important that you understand the benefits and risks of any therapy recommended to you: be fully informed and ask questions? " it your heart after all! Just as I must provide evidence that medical treatments are effective, you must ask for similar evidence from unconventional treatments that you may have read about: do not believe all you are told? ask for the evidence.

Remember, however, that evidence is of a very varied quality.

It is easy to be convinced on the basis of personal or a close friend or relative experience that the disease has been cured. It is unfortunately easy to be deluded as most diseases are very variable and impressions of a cure may be misguided.

The only way to establish genuine benefit is from scientific trials. These try to remove chance or, put another way, remove the possibility that you would have got better anyway.

We will study about angina, heart attacks, and drugs and bypass surgery and the role of angioplasty (balloon treatment) and stent placement (an expandable metal cage) to hold arteries open is covered in detail.

We try to give giving information about the practical problems of coronary artery disease and its prevention or treatment. It deals with the commonest questions asked and tries to answer in the clearest way.

Not all questions have easy answers so, where there are grey areas, these are discussed in an attempt to clarify what, for doctors as well as patients, can be a difficult subject.

Coronary artery disease can be thought of as a series of keys? the first key is the key to prevention, the second the key to early recognition of warning symptoms, the third the key to the correct treatment, and the fourth the key to preventing it happening again.

Our Group and Public Page in Facebook is about finding the keys and information is vital for finding these keys. Armed with this, you will be in a good position to find these keys.

For better understand of the terms used, you will find at end a glossary.

We will try to present our subject in a simple way that allows you to dip into it.

We will try to answer as many questions as possible, but they should encourage you to ask your doctor questions also. No one ever remembers to ask questions in the surgery. Write your questions down before you visit the surgery, making a list like a shopping list.

 

Finally:

 

 

  • Don't be afraid of heart disease.
  • Learn about it to understand it.
  • Do your best to prevent it.
  • Learn to cope with it.
  • Remember, despite suffering heart problems, most people lead full and active lives as a result of modern treatments

 

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