The most common cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular disease, often provoked by a clot in the “coronary” arteries supplying the heart. Symptoms may include pain in the chest or arm, sweating and difficulty breathing. Other conditions affecting the heart include heart rhythm problems, narrowed or blocked blood vessels, calcium deposits and congenital defects. Regular evaluations help detect cardiovascular disease early to plan treatment.
What can be done?
Generally, all adults above 30 years should monitor their cardiovascular health with such screening tests as electrocardiogram, treadmill performance tests and blood pressure readings.
Individuals at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease include men above 40 or women above 50 who smoke, maintain unhealthy diets, consume alcohol or adopt a physically inactive lifestyle. Other strong risk factors are family history of cardiovascular disease and individual medical history of diabetes, hypertension and/or obesity. It is recommended to undergo imaging tests, such as calcium scoring, CT angiography, carotid ultrasound or brain MRI in order to plan appropriate preventive measures.