Understanding your risk of cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for issues related to the heart and blood vessels. It is one of the leading causes of deaths globally. Cardiologists at AMRI Hospital, one of the best hospitals in Kolkata, explain that these diseases have a major impact on the structure and functioning of your heart.

What are the most common types of cardiovascular diseases?

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Pericardial disease
  • Aorta disease and Marfan Syndrome
  • Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)

What are the common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases?

  • Discomfort or pain arising at the centre of chest (also known as angina)
  • Slow or racing heartbeat
  • Feeling of suffocation with chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Palpitation (feeling like the heart is beating too fast or irregularly)
  • Sweating, which may be very heavy
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness

What increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases?

  • Weakening of heart muscles
  • Congenital heart defects (heart defects since birth)
  • Excessive smoking. Cardiologists at AMRI Hospital state that heart attacks are much more common in smokers as compared to non-smokers
  • Unhealthy diet
  • The risk of cardiovascular diseases is also determined by your sex. Men are usually at a greater risk of heart disease

  • Your age also has a major role to play in it. Aging increases the issues related to damaging and narrowing of arteries which further weakens your heart muscles
  • Poor hygiene. Medical experts at AMRI Hospital warn that unhealthy habits like not washing your hands regularly lead to viral or bacterial infections, which increase the risk of heart infections
  • Poor dental health also contributes to the risk of heart diseases
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). It hardens your arteries, which further narrows down the vessels through which blood flows
  • Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake
  • High cholesterol increases the risk of plaque formation in your blood
  • Drug abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Unrelieved stress tends to damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease
  • Having a family history of early heart diseases, especially heart attacks and strokes
  • Obesity
  • A few chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies can also increase the risk of heart diseases

How can you prevent cardiovascular diseases?

  • Keep a check on your diet
  • Don’t smoke or consume other tobacco products
  • Be physically active; exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Ensure enough quality sleep
  • Cardiologists at AMRI Hospitals advise patients to keep a check on the levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and also Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Choose a heart-healthy diet