Even though most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented, deaths and disability due to CVDs are rising across the globe. Early diagnosis is of paramount importance for effective management of cardiovascular disease. Generally, heart disease is treated with lifestyle modifications and medications, helping many patients live a full and active life. When these are not enough, surgery may be needed. If left untreated or poorly managed, heart disease can cause many potentially fatal complications including heart attacks and strokes. So, people should be aware of the early signs and symptoms of heart problems.
Many patients with heart disease remain undiagnosed until they experience signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia.
Be aware of heart disease symptoms that may appear at night
Dr. Praveen P Sadarmin, Consultant Cardiologist, Narayana Health, Bangalore, cautions that you should "pay attention to your body even when you're falling asleep, as sometimes, subtle symptoms signal underlying heart issues."
According to him, unusual symptoms like nighttime chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, or sudden awakenings with a racing heart are red flags of heart disease.
He elaborates, "These symptoms are associated with conditions like nocturnal angina heart failure or palpitations which can be secondary to arrhythmia. It is also possible that people experiencing these symptoms may have sleep apnea which does have a connection with heart ailment."
"While these symptoms may not always indicate a heart problem, they should see a doctor, especially if someone has risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease. Don't dismiss these little-known symptoms; consult a healthcare professional for a thorough assessment," Dr. Praveen adds.
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Risk factors for heart disease you ought to know
Several factors can determine your risk for heart disease such as your existing health conditions, your lifestyle, age and family history.
While risk factors like your age or family history cannot be controlled, you can control lifestyle factors associated with heart disease.
Lifestyle factors that can increase your risk for heart disease are:
Too much salt, saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol in the diet
Lack of physical activity
Drinking too much alcohol
Tobacco use, both cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
Health conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease include high blood pressure, unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, and obesity.