Ischemic heart disease is a heart condition caused by insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle (myocardium), depriving the oxygen and nutrients necessary for proper operation.
Causes of ischemic heart disease
Causes of ischemic heart disease are multiple , but the most common is a reduction in diameter of the arteries that carry blood to the heart (coronary arteries), which causes a decrease in the flow of blood flow.
In developed countries the arterial size reduction is usually due to the formation of pathological fatty deposits (atheromas) in the inner wall of the artery. They consist of fat (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) which encompasses inflammatory cells and blood coagulation
Over time, the artery becomes a hard rigid conduit (arteriosclerosis) with varying degrees of narrowness of light which limits the flow or canceled if it is fully closed, causing cell death of tissue (necrosis, infarction) with very serious clinical consequences, both for the quality of life for survival.
Risk factors for ischemic heart disease
Primarily responsible for this process include age, genetic factors and prolonged exposure to so- called cardiovascular risk factors, among which are inadequate hygienic-dietary habits (obesity, sedentary lifestyle), consumption of snuff, pathological elevation blood pressure and blood fat content (dyslipidemia) or glucose (diabetes).
The emergence of cardiovascular disease in members of the same family at an early age oriented towards a genetic susceptibility - sometimes manifested as a marked elevation of blood cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia) - which requires extreme measures to prevent and control factors risk to improve life expectancy.
Ischemic heart disease, epidemic S. XXI
It can be considered an epidemic of our century and remains the leading cause of death, which is most often expressed in man as myocardial infarction and women as cerebral infarction (stroke) for greater involvement of the coronary or cerebral arteries respectively. After menopause, the risk of cardiovascular disease rises significantly equaling the male.
The clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease are varied and range from the appearance of typical chest pain (angina), myocardial infarction, heart failure or heart electrical disturbances, which can cause sudden death as first symptom of the disease.
It is essential to promote a drug based on prevention rather than treatment, through control of risk factors since childhood and early detection of cardiovascular disease to prevent progression.
Prevention of ischemic heart disease
From the point of view of prevention should be promoted through plans geriatric education implementing dietary measures (Mediterranean diet, with our olive oil, oily fish, nuts, vegetables and legumes), regular exercise, obesity control Children (restriction of sugary drinks) and cessation of snuff and other recreational drugs.
Early detection of cardiovascular disease should be done through periodic health examinations, especially those most vulnerable, such as a family history, older age (from age 40 in men and after menopause in women ) or high load of risk factors.
Today, to detect cardiovascular disease at very early stages of cardiologists have very sophisticated imaging techniques, such as three - dimensional ultrasound or coronary CT angiography, which may show the first atheroma on the wall of the arteries. You can even make a prediction to develop cardiovascular disease in people with a family history, studying certain genetic markers. Always a good history with adequate examination of blood pressure and arterial pulses, search for vascular or heart sounds abnormal (murmur) or blood pressure differences in the extremities, which can guide the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease will be essential.
The general recognition must be completed with a complete analysis in which the determination of the level of lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides) and glucose is included and a 12 - lead ECG. They are also very useful performing a cardiac ultrasound to assess the anatomy and function of the heart and stress test ECG monitoring (stress test) to detect coronary insufficiency initial data and to start exercise without the risk of complications.
Suspecting ischemic heart disease or clinical evidence of it by existence of objective data, we have excellent complementary diagnostic measures that will allow a specific therapeutic approach. Injection into the coronary arteries (coronary arteriography) using a catheter inserted into the radial artery at the wrist enables full visualization of the coronary circulation. If an area of the blocked artery can be dilated by inflating a balloon (angioplasty) subsequently implanting a metal mesh (stent) not closed again. In certain cases you should opt for surgical revascularization, performing aortocoronary bridges over arterial blockage.
In any case, changes in lifestyle and specific control of risk factors with goals ambitious control in the most exposed persons will reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease or halt its progression if it already exists, avoiding its fearsome complications, mainly myocardial infarction and stroke.