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Heart disease



Heart disease: what are its causes?

Heart disease is a generic term used to describe a family of conditions affecting the heart and sometimes the blood vessels, leading to impaired heart function.

 The various condition which fall under the generic term of “heart disease” include:

  1. Coronary artery disease, which is caused by a narrowing or a blockage of one or more arteries that supply blood to the heart (called coronary arteries), and often leads to heart attack. The leading cause of coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis, a condition in which cholesterol deposits build up in the vessels walls.
  2. heart arrhythmias, which is due to alterations in the rate or regularity of the heart’s beat. There are many types of heart arrhythmias, some mild and transitory, others severe and sometimes life-threatening. 
  3. heart failure, a condition in which the heart is no longer able to pump an adequate supply of blood to the body’s tissues, due to a variety of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart valve defects, functional or structural abnormalities of the heart muscle and high blood pressure. When heart muscle and valve dysfunctions are present at birth, they are usually grouped under the generic term of “congenital heart defects”. 
  4. heart infections, which can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites.

 The above classification is not strict, since different types of heart disease are often related to each other. For example, both coronary artery disease and heart arrhythmias can lead to heart failure, while heart failure and coronary artery disease are predisposing conditions for heart arrhythmias.

Heart disease: looking for the right symptoms

 However, regardless of the type of heart disease, there are certain symptoms that should alarm the patient and make him or her to seek medical care. These symptoms include fainting, chest pain and short breathing. Other symptoms commonly associated with heart disease include weakness or fatigue, persistent dry cough, swelling in the legs, feet and/or abdomen and irregular heartbeat.

 Fortunately many forms of heart disease are treatable, especially when diagnosed early, but treatment options largely vary depending on the type of heart disease. They can include:

  • lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-fat low-salt diet, losing weight, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise for at least 5 times a week, quitting smoking and moderating alcohol consumption
  • various medications, depending on the form of heart disease (low pressure lowering drugs, cholesterol lowering medications, anti-arrhythmic medicines, beta-blockers, vasodilators, anticoagulants and others)
  • surgery or other medical procedures specifically designed to correct heart dysfunctions.

In any case treatment* and regular medical check-ups are necessary to avoid serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac arrest, which are leading causes of death worldwide.

 In order to be covered for heart disease an appropriate international health insurance plan is recommended before the issue arises.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Medical insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Healthcare plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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