Heart problems cause the death of millions of people a year. Currently, in the Western world there are three "epidemics": ischemic heart disease (coronary heart disease), atrial fibrillation (the most frequent arrhythmia that we find in clinical practice) and heart failure (consequence of different cardiac pathologies when they evolve).. Also diseases of the heart valves (valvular heart disease) -especially the calcified degeneration of the aortic valve- are becoming more frequent.
The causes of these diseases are, above all, the follow-up of an unhealthy lifestyle. These bad habits have led, for example, to the great increase in ischemic heart disease. Smoking , hypertension (especially if it is poorly controlled) having high cholesterol and lack of physical exercise lead to the appearance and development of these conditions. In the case of atrial fibrillation, it is also increasing due to these factors and because it is an arrhythmia that increases its prevalence with age, and the age of the population is increasing.
Logically, each pathology has a speci fi c treatment. In some cases it is necessary to go through an operating room and in others it is not. Let's say, when one of the coronary arteries is "obstructed" and gives symptoms, it can be "unclogged" by performing a catheterization (angioplasty) and stenting if necessary. Although, sometimes, surgery is required with coronary bypass placement.
On other occasions, the person must take medication based on drugs, as in the case of atrial fibrillation , which is usually treated with antirrhythmic drugs and anticoagulants to prevent embolisms.. Cardiac insufficiency is also usually controlled with drugs and, occasionally, special implantable defibrillators or pacemakers can be used to help the pumping of the diseased heart.
In any case, to keep the heart and arteries in good condition, it is essential to follow a balanced diet , perform an overweight control, monitor hypercholesterolomy (if we have it), keep track of high blood pressure and as a first factor to have in account: make an absolute abandonment of smoking.