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Heart Matters



The Importance of Taking Care of Your Heart

The human heart is approximately the size of a clenched fist and serves as one of the vital organs in the human body to sustain life. The heart beats non-stop, second by second for 24 hours a day, to support the entire circulatory system and maintain a constant blood flow to all parts of the body. The continuity of this physiological process replenishes oxygen and circulates nutrients to nourish the tissues and cells in the body. 

Given that it is one of the most critical organs responsible for keeping us alive, we must protect our heart to improve quality of life. 

It is estimated that over 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular diseases every year, representing 32% of global mortality incidence and making it one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide according as stated by the World Health Organization [1] [2]. 

Who is at Risk? 

Several factors come into play when determining whether a person will or will not develop cardiovascular diseases. According to the National Health Service, the factors are [3]: 

  1. Lifestyle habits
  2. The human lifestyle or an adoption to unhealthy daily routines such as poor diet, lack of physical activities, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol may contribute tremendously to the development of cardiovascular diseases. 

  1. Medical Conditions
  2. Pre-existing conditions or persons with comorbidities like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, preeclampsia (pregnancy-specific disorder), diabetes, and obesity possess a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. 

  1. Age
  2. Similar to every disease, the risk for cardiovascular diseases increases with age. In general, it applies for men aged 45 and above and women aged 55 and above (or after menopause).

  1. Family History
  2. Certain cardiovascular diseases can also be passed down genetically.  The risk will be higher if an immediate family member is diagnosed with the disease before 60 years old.  

  1. Infections
  2. Currently, the most dominant strain of viruses in Asia contributing to heart diseases is Hepatitis C and COVID-19.  Research also suggests that certain bacteria can make their way to the human heart via the bloodstream and trigger an immune response that could eventually lead to cardiovascular diseases [4] [5].

Common Signs and Symptoms

Different types of cardiovascular diseases require different types of treatments, but many share similar warning signs. Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for according to Gleneagles Hospitals [6]:

  • Chest Pain
  • Palpitations / Rapid Heartbeat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness / Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pressure in neck / chest / upper body
  • Discomfort radiating from jaw / back / arms
  • Swelling in the lower body 

What to do During An Emergency?

Cardiovascular emergencies like heart attacks can strike out of the blue, but often, many people have warning signs hours or days in advance.

Whatever the case is, if an emergency occurs, the first thing you need to do is to stay calm. Call for immediate help or dial 999. Remember to drive yourself ONLY if you have no other options. 

Loosen tight clothing at the neck, chest and waist. If a prescribed medication is available, take it.

In the event that a person’s breathing stops and you know first aid, immediately begin CPR to keep the blood flowing. 

Asia’s Cardiology Hub

Prevention is always better than cure and cardiovascular diseases can be treated when they are detected early. If you or your family members are experiencing the signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease, please seek help from a healthcare provider immediately.

Malaysia has world-class treatment centres that could cater for healthcare travellers seeking for their cardiovascular disease treatment. If you are looking for affordable and accessible treatments, look no further, Malaysia Healthcare is here for you. 

Love your heart and book an appointment with Malaysia Healthcare today. 









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