Heart ailments are becoming extremely prevalent these days. While some of these are acquired due to a sedentary lifestyle or some underlying illnesses, some heart defects are present from the time of birth itself. These are referred to as congenital heart diseases. A heart specialist can detect and address them timely. Let us discuss some common congenital heart diseases, in brief, but let’s first understand the structure of heart a little.
The heart is a pumping device of the body. It contains 4 valves, the upper chambers are called left and right auricles and lower chambers are called left and right ventricles. The blood circulated between the ‘body and the heart’ and between the ‘lung and the heart’ to facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
Here we present the 3 most common congenital defects as explained by cardiologists.
1. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
Almost 2 in every 10 cases of congenital birth defects is due to ventricular septal defect. VSDs are holes that are present between the lowers two ventricles of the heart. The size might vary from tiny to large and so is its severity (the larger the hole, the more the chances of the baby to develop cardiac ailments). It can be diagnosed by tracing an extra heartbeat in the cardiac cycle, but several babies show no symptoms, making its diagnosis quite tricky.
2. Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
It is a group of illnesses that are characterized by the ineffective flow of blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. Often it is due to the abnormal structure of the heart valves (which ensures the backflow of blood does not occur). These deformities lead to over-exhaustion of the ventricular muscle and cause extra pressure built up on the right side of the heart. Apart from a murmur, an echocardiogram might be needed to diagnose it effectively.
3. Aortic Valve Stenosis
This heart deformity comprises of a significant proportion of congenital heart defects. It develops within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The defect arises in the aortic valve (the final valve junction before the blood is pumped out of the heart. This obstruction can cause pressure build in the heart that can lead to thickening of the muscle and over the time, it can lead to enlargement of the heart. Aortic valve stenosis is detected more effectively through an echocardiogram. Cardiac catheterization or surgery might be required for its treatment.
At ILS Hospitals, we address congenital defects for both inborn and outborn babies. Look out for the symptoms such as bluish skin, rapid breathing, fatigue and poor weight gain in your baby, consider getting a consultation with a pediatrician. The timely measure can treat them all effectively, while unresolved congenital defects might pose as a threat in the future.
Earlier it was said that heartbreak from a romantic relationship was one major reason for heart illness. But, these days, the scenario is quite different. The threat of heart attack is looming over Indian Youth more than it did until a decade ago. This paradigm shift has resulted in Indian youth susceptible to various heart ailments 8-10 years sooner as compared to other ethnic groups from all over the world. As per the statistics collected from some of the best heart hospitals in India, at least 35 percent of the heart patients are under the age of 40. Several cases have been reported where the age of the patient is as young as the early 20s.
Causes and connections for heart ailments
Some of the common causes for these premature heart ailments that have been found are mainly due to family history, personal history of some heart conditions, diabetes /pre-diabetes, excessive stress and unhealthy lifestyle. The genetics root happens to be the most influencing factor when it comes to developing a cardiac ailment. Best heart hospitals have witnessed patients being diagnosed with premature heart ailments, happen to have a parent or sibling with a similar health history. Men are at more risk than women when we compare according to age. Women often show first signs of heart ailment approximately 10 years later than men. However, factors like diabetes in the family, and smoking, may cause, premature heart ailments even in women.
Why are Indian Youths suffering the most?
Indian Youths are somewhat dealing with the dual burden of mental and physical stress. On one hand, due to the cut-throat competitions, they are forced to work exhaustively in order to make a decent living leading to physical exertion and stress. On the other hand, their inability to cope up with the work stress, affect their family life leading to mental stress as well. As a result, the incidents of premature heart attacks are increasing among youth in their years of servitude.
How can Indian youth address it?
Though heart ailments sound scary to deal with, but it can be easily taken care of if preventive measures are taken on time. Heart attack is predominate, not a first-degree illness, meaning it often develops from underlying complications as already mentioned. Thereby, controlling these early warnings can help manage it effectively.
On this International Youth Day, we advise every India youth to take some time out of their busy lives and dedicate the same towards their health. Adequate exercise, quitting alcohol and smoking and leading a healthy lifestyle, often makes change and improve the lifestyle. In case, any symptoms of heart or chest discomfort arises, they are recommended to seek advice from one of the best heart hospitals at the earliest.