What causes sudden a heart attack? What are the BP parameters for adults? Is anxiety a sign of a heart problem? Is cholesterol good for your heart? Which is the best diet for heart health?These and many more questions were answered by Dr Eric Borges on Saturday, August 15 as part of the Health Live @ Seniors Today series
On Saturday, August 15, Health Live @ Seniors Today hosted leading cardiologist, Dr Eric Borges, to speak on heart care for seniors. Dr Eric Borges is Professor in Cardiology and Senior Cardiologist at the Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences.
Dr Borges is associated as a cardiologist in hospitals in Mauritius and Tanzania which have collaboration with the Bombay Hospital. He has performed more than 30,000 angiograms including coronary and paediatric cases and performed over 7,000 cases of coronary angioplasty with and without stent implantations.
Here are the takeaways from Health Live @ Seniors Today with Dr Eric Borges:
- Causes of sudden cardiac arrest – It is important to understand the cause of cardiac arrest. It can be classified as –
- Genetics – when there is an abnormal gene that involves the electric stability of the heart. Your heart can go to a sudden chaotic rhythm leading to irregular pumping of the blood, low blood pressure, lack of oxygen and sudden death. If you have this gene, you can get a sudden cardiac arrest at any age.
- Atherosclerotic heart disease – a sudden chest pain leading to death. This scenario means that there is a family history of heart disease. This condition can cause thickening of the arteries, hardening of the arteries by deposition of cholesterol, and in critical situation, blood flow stops and damages your heart causing a massive heart attack leading to death.
- Treatment for genetic gene – An automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small pacer maker machine. This will be implanted under your clavicle – collarbone, and the wires will be threaded to the heart via vein. This machine will monitor your rhythm and whenever it finds a chaotic rhythm it stabilises the heart.
- Screen your heart – If your family has cases of heart disease then you should get your blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked. You will also need to get your heart screened to see if you have any evidence of lack of blood supply. You can opt for a stress test, or a nuclear scan, or a CT coronary angiogram. If at all you have lack of blood supply, then you can go for medication, or an angioplasty, or a bypass surgery depending upon your condition.
- Cholesterol – It is a family of good cholesterol (HDL – High-density lipoprotein) and bad cholesterol (LDL – Low-density lipoprotein). If your good cholesterol levels are high, it is a good sign because they protect your heart from risks. On the other hand, if your bad cholesterol levels are high, it is a sign of concern as it can disrupt your blood circulation. To know your cholesterol levels, a lipid profile test will show your good and bad cholesterol levels.
- Lower LDLand higher HDL – Large studies have concluded that lower the LDL, the better it is for every human being – young, middle aged, seniors.
- Safe cholesterol parameters – If you don’t have any comorbidities, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, then LDL 100mg/dl is fine. If you are overweight and have high blood pressure then your LDL should be 70mg/dl. If you have more risk factors then your LDL needs to drop further to 35mg/dl. There is no fixed cholesterol range, as it differs individually.
- Mediterranean diet – Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish. It is one of the best diets for your overall health. When it comes to diet it is also important that you eat in moderation. However, if you consume more of Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods, it will protect your heart. Foods such as walnuts, flaxseed, and fish.
- Sugar is under control – It is impossible to control your diabetes as it is a disease where one of the manifestations is high sugar, so you are controlling your sugar and not your diabetes. Controlling your sugar reduces certain complications of diabetes – eyesight, kidney failure, heart disease.
- SGL2T inhibitors and GLP1 agonists – It is a group of medicines that effectively brings down blood sugar levels. Usage of these drugs can droptherisk of death from diabetes up to 40%. Consult with your doctor and get the prescription.
- Anxiety and heart – If you get unnecessarily anxious it is called a pathological anxiety. While certain amount of anxiety is physiologicalheart beating faster, butterflies in the stomach, breathing faster, dry mouth. But if the anxiety level goes beyond certain limit where your heart is racing with a heart rate of 170 and bp of 200, you are at risk. You need to get treated either by counseling or by cognitive behaviour therapy. Anxiety should be treated either with yoga, meditation, counseling, medication, or cognitive behaviour therapy depending upon the level of anxiety.
- BP parameters for adults – 120/80 is a normal bp level for adults and it can go up to 130/85. BP parameters may differ for people with comorbidities depending upon their health risks.
- ECG (electrocardiogram) – An ECG is done to check your current heart function. The test will not show any future risks concerning your heart.
- Telehealth for heart – To diagnose the heart function,a doctor needs to physically examine the patient with a stethoscope – listen to the heart, lungs…to conclude if there are any underlying heart conditions. This applies to new patients. For existing patients telemedicine will work well unless they are critical.