1. Cutting Edge Solutions for Heart ProblemsIt is common knowledge that heart diseases account for a significant amount of deaths andlimitation of the quality of life. Since the advent of effective treatment strategies for heart attackin the 1970’s, research into the causative factors of heart conditions and ways to refine thetreatment options have been proceeding at a very rapid pace.Along with the knowledge about the pathological process leading to the heart attack (In Frenchattaque cardiaque)came the information about the risk factors – primarily diabetes,hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and smoking. Consequently, due to effective drugs andcontrol of the risk factors, a decrease in the load of heart diseases was expected. Surprisingly, thishas not been achieved. Analysis of this apparent paradox has revealed that this is primarily due tobetter diagnostic techniques, which would have been missed a few decades earlier. In otherwords, the earlier data revealed only the part of the case load.A lot of effort is invested on methods which detect risk factors, disease of the coronary (heart)arteries, abnormal heart muscle functioning, all at a very early stage and in a non-invasivemanner. Thus we hear about 64 slice and now 128 slice CT scans, SPECT (single positron emissionCT), combination of the two processes, and use of different materials for radio-labeling. With theuse of these techniques, even a very small obstruction to blood flow or minimally altered heartmuscle function can be detected. Thus, conditions leading to heart failure (In Frenchinsuffisance cardiaque) are picked up at a very early stage and adequate corrective actions areundertaken.Further, there is constant refinement of the therapeutic modalities, especially angioplastytechniques involving stets, which helps prevent cell death. There is a lot of interest in the role ofstem cells in the repair of dead heart muscle cells. And finally in conditions where the heartproblem is such that a lot of heart tissue is dead and not functioning, new devices which help theheart contract better are being invented and undergoing trials.A natural consequence of detection and treatment early in the course of heart problems alongwith newer and better treatment options for advanced diseases is that the final outcome is muchbetter and the burden of heart diseases on the society is reduced.
2. Easy Ways to Keep Your Heart in Good HealthKeeping your heart healthy is very simple provided you are prepared to make a lifelongcommitment to the cause. The first order of business to ensure good health is to switch to ahealthier lifestyle.Starting today, join that health club like you’ve been meaning to or else take up the habit of goingfor a relaxing stroll either early in the morning or in the evenings after work. Ask your friend,partner, child and/or an aging parent to join you in your new ‘get fit’ regime. Having a companionnot only makes things more interesting, it also gives those involved a committed partner who canhelp them from flagging after the first few days.Take a hard look at your family’s diet and be prepared to make some drastic changes in the longrun. Do not try to make a sudden switch as many times, people end up back-sliding after only acouple of days. It’s therefore best to give yourself and your family the time to get used to thechanges in your diet. Start by adding more fresh fruits and vegetables; to health prevent heartfailure. Gradually switch from full-fat foods to more healthy options. Be sure to check your saltintake levels to ensure they are within the acceptable limits.Finally, try to reduce your overall stress levels as much as possible. Try taking up yoga and/ormeditation and start a new relaxing hobby. Leisure activities like gardening, weaving, biking etcare proven stress reducers and also contribute to your overall good health. If you still feelstressed out then you may have to re-evaluate your work and/or relationships.To conclude, an active, stress free lifestyle is the best antidote for heart attack. Most people payvery little attention to their heart’s health until they grow older and/or either fall victim to anattack themselves or see someone in their circle do so. Don’t make the same mistake; switch to ahealthier lifestyle today!