World Heart Day

Giornata mondiale del cuore - Roma

On September 29th, as every year, World Heart Day is celebrated.

World Heart Day is a global campaign aimed at providing information and raising awareness about the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. 

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Key factors for health

Cardiovascular diseases are a significant issue not only in Italy but also worldwide, representing the leading cause of mortality. Prevention plays a fundamental role in addressing this challenge. Reducing risk factors is essential for preserving the health of the cardiovascular system. Several strategies can significantly contribute to this goal.Healthy diet: Adopting a balanced and nutrient-rich diet can make a difference in preventing cardiovascular diseases. Limiting the intake of saturated fats, added sugars, and salt can help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.Regular physical exercise: Regular physical activity is a fundamental pillar for cardiovascular health. Engaging in moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming, or running, helps improve cardiac function, maintain body weight, and reduce the risk of heart diseases.Monitoring risk factors: Undergoing regular medical check-ups to monitor cholesterol and blood sugar levels is an important step in prevention. Identifying any alterations early allows for early preventive interventions.However, it’s important to emphasize that there are also uncontrollable risk factors, such as heredity. We cannot influence the genetic predisposition inherited from our parents. If conditions like diabetes or hypertension are present in our family history, it’s crucial to be aware of these potential vulnerabilities and work collaboratively with our doctor to manage them effectively. 

What are the cardiovascular risk factors?

Cardiovascular risk factors can be divided into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. Modifiable factors are determinants that we can influence through choices and preventive measures, such as quitting smoking, controlling cholesterol levels, managing diabetes, and adopting a low-fat diet. On the other hand, non-modifiable factors are those we cannot control, such as hereditary genetic predisposition.  

Are heart attacks always apparent? Discover the different manifestations

For most cases, heart attacks are apparent and manifest with severe retrosternal pain that may occasionally radiate to the neck or left arm. However, it’s important to note that there are some categories of heart attacks that can be asymptomatic. This means that one may experience cardiac distress without feeling any pain.This condition can occur, for example, when there is neurological damage involved. In diabetic individuals, cardiac distress may occur without the typical pain. Additionally, there are cases of heart attacks that can only be diagnosed through specific tests, such as Holter ECG, which involves continuous monitoring of the ECG for a 24-hour period. 

Primary and Secondary Prevention: What do they mean, and what’s the difference?

Primary prevention and secondary prevention are fundamental concepts in the field of cardiovascular health. But what are we actually talking about?Primary Prevention: Initial defensePrimary prevention focuses on promoting heart health in individuals who have never experienced cardiac issues. The main goal is to prevent the onset of cardiac problems in a primary way. This involves adopting a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular physical exercise to keep the heart healthy.Secondary Prevention: Defense after damageOn the other hand, secondary prevention is aimed at individuals who have already experienced cardiac damage or an event such as a heart attack. In this case, attention shifts to managing and preventing future cardiac issues. For example, a patient who has had a heart attack must follow specific behaviors, adopt a suitable diet, and undergo targeted therapy to avoid further heart attacks and preserve cardiac health.Taking care of our heart is important; book your check-up appointment.

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