Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to multiple diseases of the circulatory system including the heart and blood vessles, whether the blood vessels are affecting the lungs, the brain, kidneys or other parts of the body. Cardiovascular diseases includes coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, inflammatory heart disease, stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack) and valvular heart disease. Most of the cardiovascular disease have common roots in atherosclerosis (accumulation of lipid/fat in the wall of blood vessels) and high blood pressure (hypertension) which in turn are cause by lifestyle factors like obesity, smoking, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress, etc. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death globally. An estimated 17.7 million people died from CVDs in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke. Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries.
Common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases
The symptoms depend upon the type of cardiovascular disease one suffers from and many of times, one may be asymptomatic as well. Without much ado, here we will list few symptoms of heart diseases in general.
- Central chest pain or discomfort (angina)
- Pain in neck, jaw, throat, arms, upper abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling light-headed or faint or dizzy
- Swelling of hands and feet
- Fluttering, racing or slowing of heartbeat (arrhythmias)
- Numbness of face, arms or leg (stroke)
- Fever, joint pains and rashes along with other cardiovascular symptoms (rheumatic heart disease)
Cardiovascular disease in India
According to the study conducted by Prabhakaran et.al. cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have become the leading cause of mortality in India. A quarter of all mortality is attributable to CVD. Ischemic heart disease and stroke are the predominant causes and are responsible for >80% of CVD deaths. Some aspects of the CVD epidemic in India are particular causes of concern, including its accelerated buildup, the early age of disease onset in the population, and the high case fatality rate.
When to see a cardiologist?
Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with the disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system. Physicians who specialize in cardio-thoracic surgery are known as cardiothoracic surgeons. You may want to see a cardiologist for one of the following reasons:
- Physician recommendation or referral
- Existing heart disease: most of them are chronic and may need continuous treatment
- Heart pain or other symptoms of cardiovascular disease as outlined above
- Family history of heart disease
- High total cholersterol (>200 mg/dl)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- If you are or were a smoker
- Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia (hypertension during pregnancy)
Cardiology Services in India
When a patient suffers from any disease, patient desires for excellent professional skill, quick service, cost-effective treatment, availability of air-ambulance, etc. All of these can be met in several hospitals of India. Many of the centers in the cities are well-equipped and the professional skills can be matched to the western counter-parts while the cost is significantly lower compared to the western counterparts. “Best” is considered as a “subjective word”, but among several centers, Apollo Heart Institute falls in the list of best heart hospital in India with best cardiologists in India and allied health professionals with experience of upto 30 years in the relevant field, a state of art cath lab, diagnostic services and operation theater.