The term heart disease is often interchanged with the term cardiovascular disease. It generally refers to the conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. By controlling high blood pressure, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and by maintaining low cholesterol levels heart diseases can be prevented.
Diagnosis and symptoms include cardiac catherization, cardiac MRI, picturing the heart, a CT scan, a coronary angiography, stress testing, echocardiography, nuclear heart scan, etc. Treatment for heart valve problems include medications, heart valve surgery and for heart attack medications like clot busters should be administered as soon as possible, coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Since 1952, the cardiovascular death rate in Canada has declined by more than 75 per cent – and nearly 40 per cent in the last decade – largely due to research advances in surgical procedures, drug therapies and prevention efforts (Statistics Canada, 2011c). Every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke (Statistics Canada, 2011c). Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.