Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in both women and men in the United States. Although many women believe that they’re more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, their risk of CVD is actually significantly greater. Cardiothoracic surgery also involves the treatment of the heart, (cardiovascular disease), and lungs (lung disease).
Heart disease symptoms may not always be evident, but usually there are symptoms that can alert you to a potential problem. A classic symptom is chest pressure or left arm discomfort, which occurs during stress (physical or emotional), and goes away with rest, or with nitroglycerin, a medication that dilates blood vessels. Heart disease symptoms differ in intensity and some symptoms might not develop until after there’s been extensive damage to a person’s heart and blood vessels. Some people experience only a few of the symptoms of a heart attack.
Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, and people suffering from a second heart attack may experience completely different symptoms. Some people have no symptoms. Significant differences exist in the symptoms displayed by women and men. Men typically experience the “classic” heart attack signs: tightness in the chest, arm pain, and shortness of breath.
Chest pain or Angina , quite often at rest; the pain may spread to the left arm or the neck, back, throat, or jaw. There might be present a numbness (paresthesia ) or a loss of feeling in the arms, shoulders, or wrists. Chest pain, the medical term for which is Angina, is the most common symptom of coronary heart disease . Chest discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing or a painful feeling in your chest. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn.
Blood may back up into the system causing still more problems. Persons with high blood pressure are at risk for congestive heart disease and must make every effort to keep blood pressure controlled. Blood pressure should be checked at regular intervals (as recommended by your health care provider) to monitor the condition. Frequent blood pressure measurements performed at home are often recommended for patients who have difficult-to-control high blood pressure.
Patients with diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk of having silent heart attacks. It is generally a good idea to work with your doctor to monitor you heart’s function on an as-prescribed basis, particularly if you have an existing heart condition, are at an increased risk, or know that there is heart disease in your family. Patients are given a pill or injection that is actually a harmless, inert substance, but they are told that it is a remedy for their illness. Various studies have shown that a significant percentage of patients do experience an improvement in the symptoms. Patients with heart disease will also benefit by steam cooking vegetables.