We have a WORLD HEART DAY
How is our heart ticking?
Are we interested in this topic?
Are we ready to read more about our heart?
Are we aware of what our heart is all about?
Are we aware of the global heart issues we have?
Are we in the know about all heart matters?
Are we going to think about our heart more?
Are we paying attention to what World Heart Day is telling us?
Here is some information from the organisers of World Heart Day –
World Heart Day is part of an international campaign to spread awareness about cardiovascular disease and stroke prevention. The World Heart Federation (WHF) organises the World Heart Day, an international campaign on 29 September every year. (1)
World Heart Day – 2017 Theme
Creating Heart-Healthy Environments. (1)
World Heart day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Here is the list of previous world heart day themes:
2016 – Power Your Life. (2)
2015 – Heart Healthy Choices for Everyone, Everywhere. (3)
2014 – Heart Choices NOT Hard Choices. (4)
2013 – Take the Road to a Healthy Heart. (5)
2012 – One World, One Heart, One Home and Focus on Women and Children. (6)
2011 – One World, One Heart, One Home. (7)
2010 – I Work with Heart – Workplace Wellness: Take Responsibility for Your Own Heart Health. (8)
2009 – I Work with Heart – a Workplace that Encourages Healthy Habits Can Reduce Heart Disease and Stroke. (9)
2008 – Know your Risk! (10)
2007 – Team Up for Healthy Hearts. (11)
2006 – How Young is Your Heart.
2005 – Healthy Weight, Healthy Shape.
2004 – Children, Adolescents and Heart Disease.
2003 – Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.
2002 – What Shape Are You In?
2001 – A Heart for Life.
2000 – I Love My Heart: Let it Beat! (12)
Let’s stop here and ask some important questions –
Who comes up with these theme titles each year?
How do we start with a healthy heart environment?
Is there a roadmap, a guidebook or a DIY heart manual that is simple?
Do we need to be looking honestly at our own environment?
In other words, how are we choosing to live day in and day out?
Is our heart healthy environment lacking a real dose of honesty for starters?
Is it possible to create a healthy heart environment if we have poor lifestyle choices?
Is it possible to truly power our life if how we live everyday sucks?
Is it possible to make heart healthy choices everyday with all the temptations of life?
Is it possible to make heart healthy choices for everyone if we ignore our own choices?
Is it possible the very thought of heart healthy choices everywhere is overwhelming?
Is it possible that we are simply not geared up to making heart choices?
Is it possible that we don’t know the difference between heart choices and hard choices?
Could it be possible that we don’t know anyone who is on the road to a healthy heart?
Could it be possible our lifestyle choices don’t let us get on the road to a healthy heart?
Could it be possible that one world, one heart and one home starts with opening our heart?
Could it be possible that to focus on women and children leaves out the men of our world?
Could it be possible that we need a world heart day theme repeated as we did not get it? Could it be possible that in our own home we hold back our heart at times and it hurts?
Could it be possible that we need to start with our neighbours when we think of the world?
Could it be possible that we hardly know or talk to anyone in our street or in the community?
Could it be possible that our heart would love to express but we keep holding back?
Could it be possible that the one world sounds great to read but it’s nowhere near a reality yet?
Could it be possible we cannot feel any real role models around us on the healthy heart road?
Could it be possible we never ever open our heart and let people in at our workplace?
Could it be possible we have a different heart response every time, to those we work with?
Could it be possible that heart choices are difficult in the workplace wellness department?
Could it be possible we cannot claim we work with heart when we clearly ignore others at work?
Could it be possible that our workplace does not have healthy habits as a priority on the agenda?
Could it be possible our workplace is not designed to support us to have a healthy heart
Could it be possible that our workplace cannot encourage heart healthy habits without resources?
Could it be possible that taking Responsibility for our own heart health feels just too much?
Could it be possible that those who are dishing out healthy heart tips are not at all healthy?
Could it be possible that we have lost the true meaning of what a healthy heart actually is?
Could it be possible that what we call a healthy habit may be harming our precious heart? Could it be possible we don’t know where to start to take True Responsibility for our heart?
Could it be possible we have no idea about the risks when it comes to our heart?
Could it be possible that knowing our risks are just like reading words and nothing more? Could it be possible that we do know the risks we are taking with our hearts but do nothing?
Could it be possible we do not know anyone to team up with who has a truly healthy heart? Could it be possible that a healthy heart is not just about diet and exercise?
Could it be possible that we have no clue how young or not young our heart is?
Could it be possible that dressing up young may not tell us how young our heart is?
Could it be possible that to focus on our weight and shape puts pressure on our heart? Could it be possible that our true heart choices can lead to a natural weight and shape?
Could it be possible the thought of associating children and adolescents to heart disease is super scary and not something we want a World Heart Day theme on?
Could it be possible the women in our world have no time to focus or even discuss heart disease and stroke with their super busy lives?
Could it be possible that our life is in bad shape and therefore our heart must be the same?
Could it be possible that our life may seem in great shape but our body is telling us different?
Could it be possible that a heart for life theme is not telling us what we need to do and not do?
Could it be possible that to have a heart for life we need to –
First and foremost, be open to all others equally and let them into our heart?
In other words, not pick and choose who we want to engage and stay open with.
Could it be possible that to have a heart for life we need to at least consider the following list –
Look at how we live every day?
What impact our choices have on the Earth?
Apply for a Passport to Get Real?
Be Honest about what choices we make?
Get to the real Truth about our lifestyle choices?
Treat others as equal brothers?
Make life Simple?
Know that Expression is Everything?
Deal with the War Inside Us?
Take note of What we Eat?
Stop pretending Chocolate is good for us?
Wake up, smell the Coffee as it is racing our heart?
Admit that our Diets are not working?
Accept our lack of Sleep affects our heart?
Wake up to the facts that Drugs are killing us?
Learn why Alcohol is a scientific proven poison?
Why Smoking is really harming our heart?
Find out what our Priority is in life?
Realise Shouting and Swearing disturbs our heart rate?
Hypertension does affect our heart in a big way?
Diabetes is heavy on our heart?
Giving up on Life shuts down our heart?
Stop Blaming the world and its brothers?
Stop Lying and making it normal?
Admit our need for a Perfect Life puts pressure on our heart?
WHY we choose to hang out on Social Media?
WHY we spend so many hours on the Internet?
How addicted we have become to our TV?
Ask Questions and keep asking Questions?
Understand Mental Health and what that means?
Learn more about topics that matter in our world today like –
Chronic Kidney Disease
Feet and Footwear
Female Genital Mutilation
Could it be possible we have Lost the Plot when it comes to the true care of our heart?
Could it be possible we are Careless when it comes to matters of the heart?
Could it be possible that we need to support our heart by taking small steps to build a Foundation for life?
This is what the World Heart Federation is telling us on the official website.
Your heart powers your whole body.
It lets you love, laugh and live your life to the full.
It is important to look after your heart and if you don’t you are putting yourself at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke.
CVD is the world’s number one killer and is responsible for 17.5 million deaths each year.
This figure is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. (13)
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in the world. (14)
Cardiovascular Diseases including strokes are responsible for 50% of all Non-Communicable Diseases. (1)
Good news is that much of Cardiovascular Disease can be prevented by making just a few simple daily changes, like eating and drinking more healthily, getting more exercise and stopping smoking. (13)
Is it time to start asking more questions and get talking about this serious stuff?
Who has the real truth about what healthy eating and drinking is?
Are those who call stuff healthy actually living healthy themselves?
Have we as a world deviated from the true meaning of the word health?
Are those who stop smoking choosing other alternative harmful ways?
Do some of us exercise but not consistently keep up as it’s too much?
Next – we are being asked to share how we power our own hearts and inspire millions of people around the world to be heart healthy. Then, make sure we all take action to keep our hearts charged and make a lasting difference to our health. (13)
“Fuel your heart. Move your heart. Love your heart. And share the power.”
Light the world up red – every year the World Heart Federation ask landmarks and iconic buildings to light up red for World Heart Day. (14)
Is lighting up any building in red going to get us closer to WHY we have not yet got to the root cause of our number one killer on earth?
CVD is a collective term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
The term commonly includes diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke. (15)
By 2025 there is a global commitment to reduce premature cardiovascular diseases (CVD) by 25%. (16)
31% all global deaths were cardiovascular deaths.
$863 billion estimated cost of cardiovascular disease.
$1044 billion estimated to rise by 2030. (17)
Over one thousand billion dollars are going to be needed soon if we carry on as we are currently living.
Are we concerned or are we even bothered, or are these just big fat numbers to us?
The American Heart Association has funded more than $4 billion in research since 1949.
92.1 million American adults living with Cardiovascular Disease or Stroke.
$316 billion – direct or indirect costs of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.
Cardiovascular disease is the underlying cause of death in 801,000 deaths.
That is about 1 in 3 deaths in the USA.
2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.
An average of 1 death every 40 seconds.
Cardiovascular disease claims more lives each year than all forms of Cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined.
45% – Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause of deaths attributable to Cardiovascular Disease.
$4 billion dollars in research over more than 6 decades and yet we are no closer to finding out exactly WHY we get heart disease.
Why have we never looked at the root causes of these heart dis-eases in our body?
WHY is this not the number one priority of all research, if it claims more lives than all Cancers and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined?
Would it not be wise from a financial stand point for the world, to get this thing nailed?
Are we missing something obvious here?
Are we looking in the wrong places and not right under our nose?
Are there people who live with a strong heart that need to be studied?
Do we need to monitor their blood pressure and see how they respond to everyday life?
Do we need to study their lifestyle choices and what exactly they are doing every day?
Do we need to make research studies simple and to the point?
Are we getting lost in all this research and more research, which is getting us nowhere?
Is there a simple answer to this complicated dis-ease in our heart?
Is our heart communicating something to us and we are not listening?
Is our heart beat out of rhythm to the pulse of the universe?
Does our heart have a pulse that aligns to the natural laws of the universe?
Does our heart have a unique intelligence and the answer we want?
Are we all too far removed from the very essence of who we are?
Are we supposed to be in sync with all that is on this earth and beyond?
Are these questions too way off and whacky to even be considered?
Do we need to get back to the drawing board and change our questioning?
Do we need to get back to basics by knocking out all the complicated stuff?
Do we need to stop looking for solutions to function and take a reality check?
Do we need to get our funding towards a more simple way of researching?
In other words, get the people on the ground to tell us exactly what is going on and not manipulate studies to fit the hypothesis?
Do we need to accept anecdotal evidence as real life studies and not negate them in favour of quantitative studies which make it all about numbers?
Do we need to view each human as a living body of science that can give us the answers?
4.2 million reported having a disease of the circulatory system.
2.6 million reported having high blood pressure.
1.2 million people with cardiovascular conditions.
430,000 indicated that they had experienced a heart attack.
29% of deaths had an underlying cause of cardiovascular disease.
69,600 of the total Indigenous population were estimated to have heart disease.
€210 billion a year – Cardiovascular Disease overall cost to EU economy.
2017 Cardiovascular Disease Statistics
3.9 million deaths in Europe.
1.8 million deaths in the European Union (EU).
45% of all deaths in Europe are Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).
CVD main cause of death in women in all but two countries.
85 million people in Europe living with CVD.
ASIA – Japan (19)
Cardiovascular Disease is on the rise in Asia, particularly Japan.
The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes have been decreasing in the United States and Europe, however they appear to be on the rise in Asia, particularly Japan.
There is an increasing incidence of hypertension.
Cardiovascular disease deaths in Japan have increased and the prevalence of risk factors is expected to increase as the Japanese population continues to age.
20 year rise in cardiovascular disease.
CVD – leading cause of death.
Estimates suggest that continued rise in high blood pressure, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, increasing obesity and worsening dietary trends will add millions of new cases of heart attacks and strokes over the next 20 years.
High blood pressure, cholesterol and high blood glucose account for most of the CVD burden.
6.8 million aged 35+ died.
44% were CVD related.
40% of heart attacks and stroke came from high blood pressure.
China is facing a rising epidemic in cardiovascular disease and it shows no sign of abating.
Frank Hu – Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Harvard Chan School
3.5 times more increase than other developing countries.
32% CVD – Cardiovascular Disease remains first cause of death.
185 million population
move from rural to an urban society has introduced changes in eating and exercise patterns resulting in growing obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia. (21)
Dyslipidemia is the elevation of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), or both.
It can also be a low high-density lipoprotein level that contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. (22)
Where on earth are we going with this one global disease?
Where on earth are we going to get the money to fund for this?
Where are our health systems going to end up if this is one disease?
WHY are we not spending money now on getting to the root cause?
WHY is all the Intelligence1 in this world not focused on finding out?
WHY is our current Intelligence2 not making any difference right now?
Have we stopped long enough to consider how serious this is?
Do these staggering statistics disturb us in any way to take action?
WHY are most of us not even aware of what cardiovascular disease is?
WHY are we not getting the true state of our world in the news headlines?
WHY are we ok just accepting that things have gone from bad to worse?
WHY are we allowing this on our watch and what can we do about it?
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
This is the main form of heart disease. It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack.
Heart Disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system.
Heart Disease is a lifelong condition and even with procedures like bypass surgery the arteries remain damaged, which means we are more likely to have a heart attack.
The condition of our blood vessels will steadily worsen unless we make changes in our daily habits. (23)
Coronary Heart Disease is the most common type of heart disease in adults – CHD occurs if a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.
Also called Coronary Artery Disease.
Over time, plaque can harden or rupture (break open) and a blood clot can form.
A large blood clot can partially or completely block blood flow through a coronary artery and cause a heart attack. (24)
1 in 7 deaths account for Heart Disease.
Heart Disease including Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension and Stroke remains to be the number one cause of death.
100% increase estimated for medical costs of Coronary Heart Disease between 2013 and 2030.
2nd leading cause of death.
2.4 million over age 20 live with Ischemic Heart Disease.
9 in 10 over age 20 have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
4 in 10 have three of more risk factors.
Alaska and American Indian (26)
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Diabetes is extremely important risk factor for CVD among American Indians.
44.1% cigarette smoking risk factor for heart disease and stroke in Northern Plains.
39% cigarette smoking risk factor for heart disease in Alaska.
South Africa (27)
210 people die every day from heart disease.
440 people have a stroke every day.
49 people are murdered every day.
New Zealand (28)
Single biggest killer
1 in 20 adults diagnosed with heart disease.
90 minutes someone dies from heart disease.
30% of deaths every year are Cardiovascular Disease.
11% total health budget comprises Cardiovascular Disease.
Maori adults more than twice likely to die from CVD than European New Zealanders.
2005 – 2014
Heart Disease has remained the principal cause of death among Malaysians based on the findings of the Malaysian Statistics Department.
Risk Factors that lead to Heart Disease
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease.
They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute list the following risk factors for heart disease where we can do something about it:
Diabetes and Prediabetes
High Blood Cholesterol
High Blood Pressure
Unhealthy Diet (30)
Let’s just stop here, stick our common sense hat on and join the dots.
Here are the government kingpins telling us the risk factors where WE CAN DO SOMETHING about it.
So what on earth are we actually doing if things have clearly got worse?
WHY are we so stressed?
WHY are our diets unhealthy?
WHY are we choosing foods that do not support our body?
WHY is there so much obesity now in our world everywhere?
WHY do we know so little about cholesterol and the harm it causes?
WHY are some of us totally ok with no physical activity?
WHY are we not carrying out more studies on obesity and heart disease, if common sense tells us there is a correlation between the two?
Extra weight increases risk for abnormal heart function and other cardiovascular risk factors – a study (2011)
Obesity is intimately intertwined with multiple health conditions that underlie cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, diabetes and abnormal blood cholesterol.
In addition, weight gain is a frequent consequence of heart-damaging lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise and a fat-laden diet.
For some time, scientists have suspected that excess fat tissue, especially around the waist, has a direct effect on heart structure and function, even in the absence of other heart disease risks. To pursue this theory, researchers evaluated 950 older individuals of varying weights for signs of left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction. This condition is characterised by changes to the structure of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle), which prevent it from filling sufficiently between beats. Although LV diastolic dysfunction can often be symptomless, it reliably predicts future heart failure.
The study subjects were divided into three weight groups based on body mass index (BMI)
BMI is a mathematical formula that calculates body fat based on height and weight.
In accordance with standard definitions, the following were applied –
Normal weight – below 25
Overweight – 25 to 29.9
Obese – over 30 or above
Each subject underwent a non-invasive echocardiogram exam to measure the dimensions of the heart, muscle thickness and filling capacity of the left ventricle.
Upon analysing the results, the researchers found that the overweight and obese participants were more prone to abnormal diastolic function than the normal weight individuals.
These individuals were also more likely to have other cardiovascular risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and a larger heart mass.
However, when researchers controlled for the effects of the other risks, the overweight and obese subject still had up to a 60% high chance of having LV diastolic dysfunction and it also made a difference how much extra body fat the person carried.
The risk of abnormal heart function went up 4% for each point increase in BMI measurement. (31)
What is the pressure on our heart when we are carrying far more weight than our natural state?
WHY are we not educated about lifestyle choices and their consequences at kindergarten?
WHY are we not giving our kids common sense education from day dot?
WHY are we leaving it to the medical and welfare systems to take care of us?
WHY are our current lifestyle choices literally killing us?
WHY is it so hard to make changes when we want to?
This website for humanity is presenting awareness on some of these topics
Blood Pressure https://simplelivingglobal.com/world-hypertension-day/
Are we ready to read what is being presented about our lifestyle choices?
Are we too busy to find the time to read what can support us with our health?
Are we thinking that our well-being is not on the priority list right now in our life?
Are we buying time with more and more distractions that this world keeps feeding us?
Are we loving our comfortable lives and settling for that, even though it really is uncomfortable?
For women, age becomes a risk factor at age 55.
After menopause, women are more apt to get heart disease, in part because their body’s production of oestrogen drops. Women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. (30)
Each risk factor greatly increases a woman’s chance of developing heart disease.
Having more than one risk factor is serious because risk factors tend to accumulate and worsen each other’s effects.
Why some women are not concerned about heart disease is that they think it can be “cured” with surgery or medication. This is a myth.
Many women die of complications from heart disease or become permanently disabled. (23)
Do we need to fund more research on WHY women are more likely to get heart disease after menopause?
Can we simply blame our body and the natural changes or could there be a whole lot more?
Can we study those like the author of this blog, who are a living science with no signs of heart disease and perfect blood pressure according to the GP?
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (32)
AAA is a balloon like swelling of the aorta, the main artery in our body. The aorta carries oxygen rich blood away from the heart to the rest of the body and the brain. Abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the abdomen.
Angina is chest pain that occurs if an area of the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. The pain can feel like pressure in the chest area and the pain can also occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back.
Angina is usually the symptom of Coronary Heart Disease.
The most common type of angina, which occurs when the heart is working harder than usual.
Stable angina has a regular pattern and when the pain will occur can be predicted.
The pain goes after a few minutes when the body is resting or after angina medication.
Stable angina suggests that a heart attack is more likely to happen in the future.
This does not follow a pattern and may occur more often and be more severe than stable angina. It can occur with or without physical exertion and rest or medication may not relieve the pain.
Unstable angina is very dangerous and requires emergency treatment. This type of angina is a sign that a heart attack may happen soon.
This usually occurs between midnight and early morning when resting. A spasm in a coronary artery causes this type of angina and the pain can be severe.
This can be more severe and last longer than other types of angina.
Medicine may not relieve this type of angina. (33)
Symptoms of Angina
Shortness of Breath
UK – 2 million people suffer from Angina. (35)
USA – 7 million people suffer from Angina. (33)
Angiosarcoma of the Heart
Angiosarcoma (AS) is a type of soft tissue tumour that starts in the vascular endothelial cells which form the inner lining of blood as well as lymphatic vessels. (36)
Angiosarcoma of the heart is often a quickly growing disease.
80% when diagnosed have the cancer already spread to another part of the body.
The most common place for it to spread is the lungs. (37)
Cancers of the Heart
Heart cancer is very rare as heart cells stop dividing early in life. (38)
Tumours that effect the heart are very rare.
It is more usual for a cancer that started somewhere else in the body to spread to the heart.
Most tumours that start in the heart are not cancer, they are benign.
25% are cancers – most commonly soft tissue sarcomas. (37)
Sarcomas are cancers of the connective tissue. (39)
Soft tissue connects, supports and surrounds the other structures and organs of the body.
Angiosarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that grows from cells that make up the walls of blood vessels. (37)
Causes of Angiosarcoma of the Heart
Our science and medical world do not know what causes Angiosarcoma of the heart.
As it is a rare cancer, it is difficult to find a common cause.
Symptoms can vary depending on where in the heart the cancer is.
Many people do not have any symptoms until the cancer is advanced.
When symptoms do happen, they can be similar to those caused by heart failure. This may include breathlessness, heart pain or fluid on the lung (pleural effusion).
Sometimes a small piece of tumour can break off and form a small clot that blocks a blood vessel. This is called embolism.
If an embolism travels through the bloodstream, it can block a blood vessel near the heart, causing pain, which is known as Angina.
Embolisms can also travel to other parts of the body, for example the brain, where they can cause a stroke. (37)
Heart Surgery is the main treatment for angiosarcoma to completely remove the cancer.
In most cases, it is not possible to take all the tumour out and the cancer is likely to come back unless the surgeon can remove all the tumour with a border of cancer free tissue around it.
The most common place for it to spread is the lungs.
In this situation, surgery will not cure it.
A medical treatment to try and control the disease and relieve any symptoms may be offered for a time. (37)
The heart’s electrical system does not always function normally. It may race, become slow, irregular, skip beats or not move in the correct sequence. This causes the heart to beat slower, faster or erratically. These abnormal rhythms are called Arrhythmias and if symptoms are left untreated, arrhythmias can be life threatening.
Symptoms of Arrhythmia
Pounding of the Heart
Shortness of Breath
Four Major Types of Arrhythmia
Occurs when the heart’s electrical signal is delayed too long or blocked, resulting in a slower than normal heartbeat. Treatment can include a pacemaker to make sure the heart beats at a normal rate and/or discontinuing a medication.
Heart disease and some drugs can cause bradycardia.
Irregular or extra heartbeats
Even people with so called excellent health can have irregular or extra heartbeats.
This can lead to rapid heartbeats.
Ventricular Tachycardia (VT)
This occurs when the heart’s electrical signal begins in the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) and the heart beats too rapidly. When the ventricles pump too fast, they cannot deliver enough blood to the body. In some cases, VT can create a very rapid, erratic heartbeat known as Ventricular Fibrillation or Cardiac Arrest. If VT lasts for more than a few second it can be very serious.
Poor blood supply to the heart, diseases of the heart valves or chemical imbalances in the body can cause VT. It often occurs during or after a heart attack.
Normal heartbeat can be restored with electrical shock treatment.
Long-term control of VT may require an implanted defibrillator and/or medication.
Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)
Occurs when the heart’s electrical signal begins above the ventricles causing the heart to beat very rapidly or erratically. As a result, the heart is strained and the body receives an inadequate blood supply.
There are 3 types of SVT
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries.
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart and other parts of the body.
Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood. Over time the plaque hardens and narrows the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs and other parts of the body.
Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body, including arteries in the heart. This is known as Coronary Artery Disease.
It can lead to serious problems including heart attack, stroke, or even death. (40)
CVDs due to Atherosclerosis:
Disease pertaining to the blood vessels in the brain.
A cerebrovascular accident or stroke is the result of an impeded blood supply to some part of the brain.
Ischemic Heart Disease
Heart ailments caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries and therefore a decreased blood supply to the heart.
Ischemic heart disease includes: angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack and sudden death. (41)
Hypertensive Heart Disease
Hypertensive disease refers to heart conditions caused by high blood pressure and can cause serious health problems. It is the leading cause of death from high blood pressure.
The heart working under increased pressure causes some different heart disorders.
Hypertensive heart disease includes heart failure, thickening of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease and other conditions. (42)
An aneurysm is a bulge or weakness in the wall of a blood vessel. Aneurysms can enlarge over time and may be life threatening if they rupture. They can occur because of high blood pressure or a weak spot in a blood vessel wall. Aneurysms can occur in arteries in any location of the body.
High blood pressure may overburden the heart and blood vessels and cause disease.
Hypertension causes many types of cardiovascular disease, such as stroke and heart failure. (41)
Broken Heart Syndrome (43)
Also called Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.
A real life broken heart can actually lead to cardiac consequences. There are established ties between Depression, Mental Health and Heart Disease.
Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. Tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there is no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome.
In broken heart syndrome, a part of the heart temporarily enlarges and does not pump well, while the rest of the heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions.
Researchers are just starting to learn the causes and how to diagnose and treat it.
Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.
Medical name for enlarged heart.
Cardiomegaly can be caused by a number of different conditions, including diseases of the heart muscle or heart valves, high blood pressure, arrhythmias and pulmonary hypertension.
Cardiomegaly can also accompany long standing anaemia and thyroid diseases among other conditions.
It is important to note that an enlarged heart is not classified as a disease itself but a physical sign that can accompany many diseases and conditions.
A pericardial effusion is the accumulation of fluid in the sac surrounding the heart, which can lead to the appearance of an enlarged heart.
Sometimes cardiomegaly may not cause symptoms. In other cases it can cause signs and symptoms like oedema (water retention) with weight gain, arrhythmia, palpitations, tiredness, fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain.
This refers to diseases of the heart muscle.
The most common type of cardiomyopathy is idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, where the heart is enlarged. Other types include: ischemic, loss of heart muscle, dilated, hypertrophic.
Congenital Heart Disease (15)
A broad term for any defect of the heart or central blood vessels that is present from birth. It can include abnormalities of the heart or heart valves, such as a hole between chambers of the heart, or narrowing of major blood vessels, or combinations of disorders.
Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD)
MVD is heart disease that affects the tiny coronary heart arteries. The artery with MVD has an abnormal structure or tightening/relaxing of the blood vessels.
In coronary MVD, the walls of the heart’s tiny arteries are damaged or diseased.
Diagnosing coronary microvascular disease has been a challenge for doctors. Standard tests used to diagnose coronary heart disease are not designed to detect coronary microvascular disease. (45)
Known as Myocardial Infarction, occurs when the heart’s supply of blood is stopped.
Part of the heart muscle can be damaged or die as a result blood flow is blocked. If the blockage is brief and the heart eventually receives enough blood, oxygen and nutrients, the damage is often reversible.
Warning signs of a heart attack include:
Heavy feeling or intense pain in chest area
Pain in shoulders, neck or arms
Pressure in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
Shortness of Breath
If you experience any symptoms for more than 15 minutes and believe they are heart related, call your emergency services or have someone get you to the nearest emergency department as soon as possible. (34)
790,000 have heart attacks each year.
114,000 will die of heart attacks each year.
Every 40 seconds an American will have a heart attack.
2 of the 10 most expensive hospital principal discharge diagnoses:
$11.5 billion Heart Attacks.
$10.4 billion Coronary Heart Disease.
Increasing heart attacks in young Indians.
More young Indians suffering from coronary artery disease, owing to poor lifestyle.
India is seen as the Coronary Heart Disease and Diabetes capital of the world.
It is estimated that India will soon have the highest number of heart disease cases in the world.
50% of all hearts attacks occur in Indians under age 50.
25% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under age 40.
Indian Heart Association
25-35 age group with heart attack in emergency.
10 years ago there were very few young patients.
Dr. Amit Mittal – DM Cardiology, G. B. Pant Hospital
A True Story
CEO dies after a massive cardiac arrest aged 42.
Active in Sport known as a fitness freak and marathon runner.
After a gym workout, had heart attack and died at home. (47)
So what is this telling us?
How does someone active in sports end up dying so young?
Are we going to say this is just a one-off isolated case?
Are we going to dig deeper and start asking more questions?
What on earth was going on for this man that many would look to as a role model?
What was his heart communicating to him and could this have been avoided?
Heart Defects (34)
An obstruction is a heart defect that partly or completely blocks the flow of blood.
Obstructions called stenosis can occur in the heart valves, arteries or veins.
Bicuspid aortic valve
Mitral valve prolapse
Heart Failure (34)
Heart failure happens when the heart is not pumping enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
Many people think that heart failure means an individual is about to die or that their heart has stopped. This is not true.
Heart failure indicates that the heart is not squeezing as well as it should and gradually worsens over time.
Heart Failure can be caused by:
Cardiomyopathies (diseases that damage the heart muscles)
Coronary Artery Disease
Diseases of the Heart Valves
High Blood Pressure
Past Heart Attacks
Symptoms of Heart Failure:
Oedema – Swelling in the feet, ankles or legs
Pulmonary Congestion – Fluid which builds up in the lungs
Inflammatory Heart Disease (41)
Inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), the membrane sac (pericarditis) which surround the heart, the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) or the myocardium (heart muscle).
Inflammatory heart disease includes: cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease and valvular heart disease.
Pericardial Disease (41)
The sac that encases the heart is called the pericardium and it can be affected by a variety of conditions such as inflammation (pericarditis), fluid accumulation (pericardial effusion) and stiffness (constrictive pericarditis).
The etiology of these conditions varies.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
PAD occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the legs and feet are blocked or decreased. This blockage in the vessels deprives the feet and legs of oxygen and nutrients and produces symptoms usually in the thigh, calf muscle and feet.
Symptoms of PAD
Brown spots on the skin
Changes in skin colour on leg
Foot turns blue colour
Loss of hair on the lower leg
Pain or cramping after walking short distances
Slow healing of wounds
Peripheral Vascular Disease (15)
This term refers to disease of large arteries that supply blood to the peripheries and can be caused by blockage of arteries due to cholesterol or fatty substances, or caused by widening of the arteries such as the aorta, which in severe cases can lead to rupture of the arterial wall.
Rheumatic Heart Disease (41)
This is caused by one or more attacks of rheumatic fever, which then do damage to the heart.
Rheumatic heart disease includes: valvular heart disease.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. This can happen either when a blood vessel in the brain or neck is blocked or bursts. If this happens, the brain is deprived of oxygen and parts of the brain can be permanently damaged.
A stroke can cause death or leave a permanent disability, which include problems with speech or vision, weakness or paralysis. (41)
Stroke was the second-leading global cause of death. (17)
Ischemic Heart Disease and Stroke remain the leading causes of premature death in the world.
There are regional variations in these patterns.
Some regions, led by Central Asia face particularly high rates of premature death from Ischemic Heart Disease.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia suffer disproportionately from death from stroke. (16)
Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke.
Every 4 minutes someone dies from a stroke.
Stroke accounts for 1 of every 20 deaths.
795,000 people each year experience a new or recurrent stroke.
Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.
Sudden Death (41)
Sudden death occurs when there is an abrupt loss of the heart’s ability to pump blood.
This may be because of a heart attack or serious abnormality of the heart’s rhythm.
Valvular Heart Disease (41)
The heart valves keep blood flowing through the heart in the right direction. A variety of conditions can lead to valvular damage. Valves may narrow (stenosis), leak (regurgitation or insufficiency) or not close properly (prolapse).
Valves can be damaged by conditions such as rheumatic fever, connective tissue disorders and certain medications or radiation treatments for cancer.
Facts about the Heart
Structure of the Heart
The heart is a hollow muscular organ, which acts as a pump. It is situated in the middle of the chest, between the lungs. It is divided into two lengthways by a wall (septum); this creates two separate chambers and prevents oxygenated and deoxygenated blood passing from one side to the other.
Each chamber is divided into two further chambers, which form an upper atria and lower ventricle on either side. When the heart muscle contracts, the blood is forced through valves from the atria to the ventricles, then out of the heart via an artery. (48)
The human heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout the body via the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. (49)
The Cardiac Cycle
A. The right side of the heart receives blood, which is returning from the body and is low in oxygen (deoxygenated). It enters the right atria by the superior and inferior vena cavae veins. The blood passes into the right ventricle where it is pumped out through the pulmonary artery.
B. The pulmonary artery takes the deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where it is re-oxygenated.
C. Oxygenated blood returns from the lungs to the left side of the heart via the pulmonary vein. It enters the heart at the left atria then passes through valves into the left ventricle, from where it is pumped out of the heart.
D. Oxygenated blood leaves the heart via the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. The aorta then branches off to serve all areas of the body with oxygenated blood.
The pulse is the rate at which the heart pumps blood out through the arteries and it is measured in beats per minute. It is the expansion and constriction pressure at various points in the body.
Pulse rate is affected by many factors and will alter many times throughout a normal day.
A low pulse rate is considered healthy as the heart is not working so hard.
Exercising the heart strengthens and develops the cardiac muscle, making it more efficient at pumping blood. This means that it can pump a higher volume of blood at each beat and therefore does not have to work so hard.
The pulse is normally taken at the wrist just under the thumb on the palmar surface of the hand – this is called the radial pulse.
Factors Affecting Pulse Rate
Alcohol will raise the pulse rate.
Illness can increase the pulse rate.
Overweight can increase pulse rate.
Smoking causes pulse rates to increase.
Stress causes pulse rates to increase.
The fitter you are the slower your pulse rate.
Smoking causes the heart rate to increase because the red blood cells are carrying carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. This means that the heart has to beat more frequently to supply the body with the amount of oxygen it requires. (48)
So here we have a no brainer. Smoking seriously affects our heart.
Imagine putting poison (carbon monoxide) instead of oxygen into our heart.
WHY would anyone in their right mind do this to their precious heart?
Every time the heart beats, it pumps out a volume of blood into the arteries.
It is this force which is measured when taking blood pressure. (48)
Anatomy, Function & More Facts
The heart weighs between 10 to 12 ounces in men.
In women, the heart weighs between 8 to 10 ounces.
An adult heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute.
A new born baby – heart beats about 70 to 190 beats per minute. (49)
Our heart beats 115,000 times each day. (50)
The heart pumps about 5.7 litres of blood throughout the body. (49)
The beating sound of the heart is caused by the valves opening and closing.
1893 – First open heart surgery occurred in United States.
1958 – first implantable pacemaker was used.
Most heart attacks happen on a Monday. (50)
The number of heart attacks peaks on Christmas Day followed by 26th December and New Year’s Day.
The Blue Whale has the largest heart weighing over 1,500 pounds.
Heart disease has been found in 3,000 year old mummies. (38)
Dear Dear World,
Can we stop and pause for a moment and ask these questions with our hand on our heart –
What is the real state of our world today?
How well are we really doing?
WHY is there a peak in heart attacks on Christmas Day?
WHY do more heart attacks occur on a Monday?
What if heart dis-ease is our body’s marker and comes from our own ability to let love in and that means – we cannot truly express love out if we can’t let it in.
Is this worth considering and pondering on?
Does this make sense?
Finally, this blog is big and there is so much more to report on, like the drugs used for heart medication and their effects.
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