Many adults suffer from medical conditions that cause plaque buildup, narrowing of the arteries, irregular heartbeats, valve problems or restricted blood flow, putting them at high risk of heart attack, stroke or other serious health complications. At Brookhaven Heart, our doctors have the experience and expertise necessary to treat a wide range of common heart conditions.
Coronary Artery Disease
In coronary artery disease, plaque lodges inside the vessels that carry blood from the lungs to the heart. Eventually, the plaque might build up enough to block the arteries, in a condition called atherosclerosis. Arteries that were once smooth and elastic become rigid, which restricts blood flow and impedes your heart from getting the nutrients it needs to operate correctly. Patients with atherosclerosis face a high risk of heart attack, stroke and even death.
Angina pectoris is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort resulting from an inadequate supply of blood to the heart, commonly caused by narrowing arteries and plaque buildup. Chest pain can be a serious warning sign of a coming heart attack. As soon as you notice signs of angina pectoris, contact your doctor. Early detection is key to reducing your risk of developing a serious heart condition.
Plaque buildup, narrowed arteries, or any other condition that blocks the flow of blood to the heart can lead to serious damage to the heart muscle. In severe cases, conditions that limit blood flow can be fatal. Identifying early warning signs and reducing the risk of heart attack can help prevent tragedy. Although symptoms may vary from person to person, symptoms may include new or sudden onset of chest pain or chest tightness, jaw pain, arm pain, back pain, numbness or tingling in the hands, difficulty breathing, cold sweats, nausea and indigestion.
High Blood Pressure
Millions of Americans suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure. With few, if any, symptoms, hypertension is often called the ‘silent killer.’ If untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, vision loss, kidney problems, and heart attack, as well as other deadly heart conditions.
Many different conditions and factors can lead to heart failure, but the result is always the same: the heart muscle loses its ability to pump blood through the body. Heart failure can occur suddenly or as the result of many years of untreated conditions.
Cholesterol is essential for many bodily functions, but too much bad cholesterol (LDL) can lead to heart disease, clogged arteries, and other chronic conditions. The experts at Brookhaven Heart can help you diagnose and treat high cholesterol with medication and lifestyle changes.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Many older adults assume that leg pain is a symptom of aging, arthritis or other nerve issues. Pain in the legs and feet, however, can be a symptom of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a serious condition that can put you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you experience pain in your extremities, contact your doctor to talk about PAD screening, prevention and treatment options.
What is the connection between high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease?
Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease and it is the single most important risk factor for stroke. It causes about 50% of ischaemic strokes and increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Hypertension stresses your body’s blood vessels, causing them to clog or weaken over time. Hypertension can lead to narrowing of the blood vessels making them more likely to block from blood clots or bits of fatty material breaking off from the lining of the blood vessel wall. Damage to the arteries can also create weak places that rupture easily or thin spots that balloon out the artery wall resulting in an aneurism. Elevated blood pressure in people less than 50 years old is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. As you get age, your systolic blood pressure becomes a more important predictor of the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Does diet play a part in the development of heart disease?
The role of diet is a key part in the development and prevention of heart disease. It is one of the things you can change that will impact all other heart disease risk factors. Comparisons between a diet low in saturated fats, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the typical diet of someone living in the developed world show that in the former there is nearly a 75% reduction in the risk of new major cardiac events. Unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated are beneficial for heart health. They are present in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Saturated fats are found in animal products. Trans fats are oils that have been hydrogenated to turn them into semi-hard fats and are found in processed food like shop-bought cakes, stock cubes, and a range of other products you buy every day. Saturated and trans fats raise cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn can lead to heart disease.
Come in for a Consultation
If you are suffering from a heart condition or believe you might be at risk, contact the experienced cardiology team at Brookhaven Heart today. Call 631-65-HEART (631-654-3278) or fill out a quick form online to get started.