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ischemic heart disease in Nepal

What is ischemic heart disease (IC)?

Ischemic heart disease is a condition that affects the vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood, oxygen, and nutrients. If these blood vessels (coronary arteries) are partially blocked, heart muscle function may decrease and the person may experience pain in the chest, arm, neck, or jaw (angina). Complete blockage of blood vessels can cause part of the heart muscle to necrosis, which is called a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

The blood vessels can narrow due to the build-up of fat and cholesterol inside the artery walls, which causes the condition known as atherosclerosis. The disease process can begin when conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking cause damage to the walls of the arteries. The body tries to repair the damage, but in the process, fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances can be deposited on the artery walls. Over time the plaque formed can narrow the walls of the arteries and can also develop a tough fibrous cap. If it does burst, a blood clot can form and completely block the blood vessel, leading to a heart attack.

In some cases, the blood vessel can also be blocked by a spasm in the artery. Spasms can occur in the blood vessels and lead to heart attacks with or without atherosclerosis.

Ischemic heart disease, is it common?
Ischemic heart disease (IC) is the leading cause of death in the world and kills more than 5,800,000 men and women each year. One in five deaths is due to IC. One third of people who have a heart attack do not survive. In addition, more than 45 million people are currently living with pain from ischemic heart disease (IC) and / or heart problems.

Who is in danger?

In Nepal,  both men and women are at risk of developing ischemic heart disease: however, it is not usually seen in men under 40 or in women of childbearing age. There are many different factors that affect the risk of CI. Some of these risk factors cannot be changed, such as family history, advanced age, and gender, but there are many others that can be changed or controlled, such as smoking, exercise, weight. , cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. There are many lifestyle factors and medications that can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, and heart attack.

Who should be examined?

For people who don't have symptoms, there are no good screening tests for ischemic heart disease. If you have symptoms or have risk factors, your doctor may want to do an EKG to check your heart's activity, or do other tests to look at how your heart is working.

People of all ages should be screened regularly for the risk factors for ischemic heart disease: diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and overweight / obesity.

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

The most common symptom of ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure is chest pain, but ischemic heart disease can also be silent, leading to a heart attack or sudden death without any warning signs. The classic symptom of a heart attack is pain or pressure in the chest that can extend to the arm, shoulder, neck, or jaw. This pain / pressure can also be accompanied with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or delirium. Some people experience abdominal pain, nausea, shortness of breath, palpitations, or weakness without having chest pain. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

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