Acute coronary syndromes most prevalent heart diseases in Iran: cardiologist

September 12, 2018 - 15:56

TEHRAN — Acute coronary syndromes are the most prevalent heart diseases in the country, cardiologist Maryam Mehr Pouya said, noting that having a healthy diet, being more physically active, and choosing a more healthy lifestyle would prevent the condition.

Acute coronary syndrome is an umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. Heart attack, or unstable angina are two well-known heart conditions which are both acute coronary syndromes. 

According to smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, and a family history of chest pain, heart disease or stroke are the risk factors which make it more likely for people to suffer acute coronary syndromes.

Avoiding and controlling these risk factors would simply save many from the disease, she said.

Thankfully, the Ministry of Health, has succeeded in controlling the disease by designing and implementing plans, Fars quoted her as saying on Tuesday. 

By establishing prevention clinics the Ministry has managed to increase public awareness about the disease, reducing the risk factors, and accordingly decreasing the disease, she added.

What are the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome?

One condition under the umbrella of acute coronary syndrome is myocardial infarction (heart attack) — when cell death results in damaged or destroyed heart tissue. Even when acute coronary syndrome causes no cell death, the reduced blood flow alters heart function and indicates a high risk of heart attack.

Chest pain or discomfort may immediately signal to you that something’s wrong with your heart. Other symptoms, however, may leave you unsure of what’s wrong. Take note of these common signs of an acute coronary syndrome:

Chest pain or discomfort, which may involve pressure, tightness or fullness, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck, back or stomach, shortness of breath, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, nausea, and sweating.

These symptoms should be taken seriously. If you experience chest pain or other symptoms, contact emergency medical services immediately. 
Chest pain caused by acute coronary syndromes can come on suddenly, as is the case with a heart attack. Other times, the pain can be unpredictable or get worse even with rest, both hallmark symptoms of unstable angina. People who experience chronic chest pain resulting from years of cholesterol buildup in their

arteries can develop an acute coronary syndrome if a blood clot forms on top of the plaque buildup.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

To determine what’s causing your symptoms, a doctor will take a careful medical history and give you a physical examination. If the doctor suspects an acute coronary syndrome, the following tests will be performed:

A blood test which can show evidence that heart cells are dying, and an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) which can diagnose an acute coronary syndrome by measuring the heart’s electrical activity.

If tests confirm blood flow to the heart has been blocked, doctors will work quickly to reopen the artery. Minute by minute, the heart is accumulating irreversible damage. So time is myocardium – myocardium being the heart muscle itself.

Treatment for acute coronary syndrome includes medicines and a procedure known as angioplasty, during which doctors inflate a small balloon to open the artery. View an illustration of coronary arteries. A stent, a wire mesh tube, may be permanently placed in the artery to keep it open. For hospitals not equipped to do angioplasty quickly, drugs may be used to dissolve blood clots, but more hospitals are making the procedure available in a timely manner.


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