In the hustle and bustle of modern-day life and the strenuous schedule men follow in their day-to-day lives, the risks of being affected by heart disease, such as angina, heart attack, and arrhythmia, have gone up considerably in recent years. In general, coronary disease occurs when the arteries responsible for delivery of oxygen to the heart become narrowed due to accumulation of fat and cholesterol within their walls. This reduced oxygen supply results in minor to major heart disease, especially among men.
Prevention that must be taken
As they say, prevention is better than cure, so awareness about heart disease in men is an important aspect of prevention that must be spread and followed, especially in today’s busy times.
The easiest and most effective form of prevention of heart disease is to maintain a healthy body by exercising regularly for about thirty minutes. Daily exercise not only reduces the possibility of heart disease creeping into the body, it also prevents other ailments such as stroke, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and many more. Research says that men who participate in recreational activities, like bicycling or group sports, have half the chance of having a heart attack compared to men who don’t.
While most men love to indulge in sumptuous meals, the side effects are plenty. When eating more healthfully, antioxidants help reduce free radicals, preventing them from depositing in the artery walls. Vitamin C and Vitamin E strengthen the heart and the artery walls. They protect blood against oxidation, lower blood pressure, and increase concentration of the good cholesterols in blood. Vitamin C is widely obtained in citrus foods, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables. Almonds and spinach are rich in Vitamin E. Beta-carotene, garlic, and calcium are also quite effective in preventing heart disease.
Smoking is perhaps the biggest killer of them all, with millions dying each year from its ill effects. People who quit smoking have a 25% lower risk of stroke than smokers in the first two years. Quitting smoking along with limited consumption of alcohol goes a long way in reducing cardiovascular attacks.
Common treatments of heart disease in men
With the advancement of medical technology, treatments for heart disease have come of age. While in some cases people are treated by medication alone, others require surgical procedures.
Beta blockers are commonly used by practitioners to slow down the heart rate and control blood pressure. Blocked arteries are dilated using calcium channel antagonists and nitrates. Aspirin prevents blood clots within the vessel and is used quite frequently in treating heart patients.
Angioplasty is a non-surgical technique used to widen the arteries and insert a stent that helps keep the artery open. Traditionally, stents have been made of metal, although some modern stents have been developed which are bio-absorbable. Stents are also coated with drugs that reduce re-narrowing of the arteries.
Bypass surgery involves a complicated procedure of taking a blood vessel from another part of the body, usually the forearm or the leg, and grafting one end of it to allow smooth blood flow beyond the blockage in the coronary artery. It usually takes a few hours for the surgery to be completed and patients are advised to limit physical activities for several weeks, at the very least.
While medical science has scaled new heights in treating heart disease, men are always advised to stay healthy to stay happy!
Since 2001, Dr. Alexander G. Salerno has led Salerno Medical Associates in East Orange, New Jersey. Dr. Alexander Salerno focuses largely on urban communities and on delivering patient education about both medical and behavioral health issues.