What to know about variable heart rhythms and AFib
An Ohio State cardiac electrophysiologist shares what to know about heart rhythms and AFib.
Cardiovascular disease is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of heart and vascular conditions, affecting arteries, veins, heart valves or the heart itself. The term “cardiovascular disease” is often used interchangeably or substituted for “heart disease,” “coronary heart disease,” or “vascular disease.”
Heart disease includes a wide range of conditions, involving problems with the coronary arteries, heart valves or the heart itself. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and can lead to heart attacks and heart failure.
The chances of developing heart disease increase as you get older. Men over the age of 45 and women over 55 are at a higher risk. Heart disease can be hereditary, and it is more common in people who have a history of heart disease in their family. If someone in your family had heart disease, particularly at an early age, you are at a higher risk. In addition to a family history of heart disease, other risk factors include:
Symptoms of heart disease can vary depending on the type of heart disease and the person. Women, for example, often experience different pain than men. The elderly and those with diabetes may also show varying signs and symptoms. For most people, symptoms worsen over time. Symptoms may increase with higher activity levels and decrease with rest. Some people, usually women, may not even show any signs or symptoms of heart disease.
Some common signs and symptoms of heart disease include:
Ohio State has a complete team of cardiologists and heart and vascular specialists treating every form of cardiovascular disease. We have physicians that specialize in specific areas such as vascular disease, heart rhythm problems and women’s heart health, to name a few.
And, as an academic medical center, our physicians and researchers are not only treating heart and vascular disease, but are also researching new treatments, medicines and devices to improve and save lives.
Ohio State offers several tools that can help lower your risk for heart disease. Healthy lifestyle changes are an important step in your treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with heart or vascular disease.
When diagnosing heart disease, a physician looks at a patient’s medical history and symptoms. Risk factors are considered during a diagnosis, and a physical examination is conducted.
If your physician suspects that you have heart disease, he or she will recommend further tests. Tests may include:
Different treatments work to relieve symptoms of heart disease, lower the risk of blood clots, prevent complications, widen arteries and slow, stop or reverse plaque buildup. Your physician will likely recommend a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. In some cases, surgery and cardiac rehabilitation may be necessary.
Medicines help to lower risk factors of heart disease, prevent blood clots, reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of side effects such as a heart attack.
In addition to medication, heart disease can be controlled through lifestyle changes.
Preventative care is important, especially if you have any risk factors of heart disease. Reduce your chances of developing heart disease by:
Vascular disease includes many different conditions that affect your arteries, veins and any other part of your circulatory system. Some common vascular diseases include peripheral artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, aneurysms, renal artery disease and varicose veins.
The chances of developing vascular disease increase as you age. Additional factors that contribute to vascular disease include:
Vascular disease is often referred to as a silent threat, as the symptoms of vascular disease may be sudden or not present themselves at all.
Ohio State is a leader in the care of patients with vascular diseases, performing hundreds of vascular procedures each year.
At Ohio State’s Integrated Vascular Center, our patients benefit from the coordination of experts in all fields of vascular care – from diagnosis and management of vascular disease to complex surgeries and treatments not offered elsewhere in the area.
Because of the expertise of our surgical teams and our experience in highly specialized procedures and advanced techniques, Ohio State’s Integrated Vascular Center is a regional referral center for patients who come to us from all parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky and the Midwest.
Physicians diagnose vascular disease with a physical exam and a review of your family history. Further tests, such as an angiography or Doppler ultrasound, may be performed.
A combination of medication, lifestyle changes and, in some cases, surgery is used to treat vascular disease.
Helpful lifestyle changes include:
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