Aster Hospitals have state-of-the-art facilities for the treatment of valvular, coronary, peripheral artery diseases and heart failure.
Dr Naveed Ahmed, Specialist Interventional Cardiology — Aster Hospital, Al Mankhool
What are the key risk factors for cardiac diseases?
There are multiple risk factors strongly associated with CVD which were demonstrated in the INTERHEART study. These risk factors include smoking, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, decreased fruit and vegetable consumption, obesity, and psychosocial factors.
How does stress lead to heart attack and stroke?
There is growing evidence from many studies that psychosocial factors contribute independently to the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Chronic psychosocial stressors, such as stress at work and in family life, lack of social support, negative emotions, including depression and hostility, the burden of family care-giving, and low socioeconomic status, contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Studies have also highlighted that psychosocial risk factors do not occur in isolation from one another; they show a tendency to cluster in the same individuals and groups, such as those with low socioeconomic status.
Stress may affect stroke and heart attack directly through neuroendocrine and platelet activation, or indirectly through higher frequency of adverse health behaviours such as smoking, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle, which increase the risk.
“Patients normally don’t experience any restriction in their physical activities after a surgery”
Dr Pradeep Chand S Nair, Specialist Cardiac Surgery – Aster Hospital, Al Qusais
What are the long term effects of a cardiac surgery? Can we lead a normal life after the surgery?
Cardiac surgeries increase the life span of a patient with a positive physical and mental quality of life in long term. Most of the cardiac surgeries in adults are performed to ensure a normal or near normal life to patients, however, some patients require a proper cardiac rehabilitation immediately following a surgery to have the best quality of life. Patients normally don’t experience any restriction in their physical activities, sexual life and mental status in the long term. For example, young female patients undergoing valve replacement surgery, can get married and have children in the future.
What are the latest trends in cardiac surgery with regards to the usage of advanced technology?
Artificial intelligence and autonomous robertic surgery have improved surgical coordination among team members by using a data-driven approach. This has enhanced safety and helped medical practitioners avoid errors during an open heart surgery. Patient are getting the benefit of more accurate and precise surgeries through minimal tissue damage and cuts in body along with a speedy recovery.
“It is critical to screen and address the risk factors after the age of 30 years”
Dr Debabrata Dash, Consultant Interventional Cardiology — Aster Hospital, Al Mankhool
What is cardiovascular disease(CVD)? Could you tell us about different types of CVDs?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) pertains to structures or functions of the heart and is the leading cause of death worldwide. They include coronary artery disease, heart attack, valve disease, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, pulmonary embolism, and arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythm. Coronary artery disease is the most common CVD, caused by plaque build-up or atherosclerosis. If the plaque breaks, platelets clog the artery leading to heart attacks, which require urgent angioplasty. The diseases of the heart valves include mitral, aortic, pulmonary and tricuspid stenosis, and/or incompetence. Many of these could be intervened without open heart surgery.
In cases of cardiomyopathy, the heart becomes unusually big, thick, or stiff. The heart fails to pump blood as it should and this may lead to heart failure and/ or an abnormal rhythm. Heart failure is projected to rise 46 per cent by 2030, according to the American Heart Association. Blood clots can form in deep veins (usually in legs) — a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. They can break and travel to lungs, and block blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism. It’s life threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Currently, many younger people, below 40 years of age, suffer from cardiovascular diseases. So it is critical to screen and address the risk factors after the age of 30 years.
Share some details about the-state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure support available at Aster Hospitals for cardiac care?
Aster Hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as ICUs, non-invasive labs, and cath labs for innovative treatments for valvular, coronary, peripheral artery disease and heart failure. More than the state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical facilities that we have here, it is the Aster approach to care that always makes the big difference. Our approach to care is driven by one simple objective — to put the smile back on your face as quickly as possible.
“There is an urgent need for prevention, early detection and treatment of CVD”
Dr Abdul Rauoof Malik Specialist Cardiology – Aster Hospital, Al Qusais
Why is early detection of cardiovascular disease (CVD) important?
Various CVD disorders, including heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, not only reduce life expectancy but also lead to significant physical disability, impairment in quality of life, and loss of economic productivity. Furthermore, the ever escalating costs of managing advanced CVD are overwhelming for countries globally. Therefore, there is an urgent need for prevention, early detection and treatment of CVD. Safe and effective therapies are currently available for halting the progression of vascular atherosclerotic changes that lead to CVD events like heart attack and stroke. However, such targeted treatments are most effective when used in susceptible individuals early on. The screening of individuals with vascular and cardiac tests can identify early abnormalities that are likely to progress as well as measure risk contributors susceptible to therapy.
How is telemedicine streamlining cardiac care during Covid-19?
Telemedicine uses technology to deliver healthcare at a distance. Prior to the pandemic, the technology was seen only as a future possibility. The pandemic threat markedly accelerated the utilisation of telehealth platforms and increased the adoption and refinement of the technology in healthcare, especially in the field of cardiovascular medicine. The rapid shift to virtual visits during the last two years has changed the practice of outpatient cardiology. Telehealth has provided cardiologists with new ways to support patients, including those requiring closer follow ups. The technology has helped to keep patients and physicians connected without increasing the risk for exposure to Covid-19.
There have been other positive impacts from telehealth in cardiovascular care. The Cedars-Sinai study found that shift to telemedicine during the pandemic led to a reduction in diagnostic tests, including echocardiograms and electrocardiograms, as well as in the medications prescribed during telehealth visits. While this may reflect a genuine decrease in unnecessary care, the safety of such changes in practice needs to be examined in greater detail.
The widespread shift to virtual visits has its challenges. For example, the lack of physical exam and other critical tests may impede care, although this is being increasingly addressed through hybrid strategies, reserving teleconsultations more for follow up appointments and medication refill. The potential compromise on patient safety and privacy through flexibility in digital data access could be another concern.
“At Aster Hospitals, we have a three- step approach to cardiac care”
Dr Sachin Upadhyaya, Specialist Cardiology — Aster Hospital, Al Mankhool
How could we improve our heart health?
A Dubai Health Authority (DHA) survey in 2015 highlighted that CVD was the number one killer in the UAE, accounting for 28 per cent of all deaths. Although the threshold for cardiac arrests and cardiovascular disease worldwide is 65 years, it has been seen that in the UAE, young people are getting cardiac diseases, especially South Asian expats.
To improve our heart health, we have to take necessary steps, such as quit smoking, do regular physical exercise, go for periodic health screenings, eat fruit and vegetables, avoid binge eating and too much stress.
What initiatives has Aster taken to raise awareness on heart ailments on the World Heart Day?
Aster Hospitals run a series of heart awareness programmes throughout the year, which include patient handouts, counselling in the hospitals, public lectures, and social and print media campaigns.
To mark the World Heart Day, we have a series of communication from our expert team of cardiologists, intervention cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. We do our best by implementing preventive cardiology programmes to make patients more aware and knowledgeable of the risk factors.
At Aster Hospitals, we have a three-step approach to cardiac care:
* First, we help patients prevent the heart attack
* Treat it fast if it happens
* We do our best to help prevent any further attack
Maintain health and wellness
With Aster Hospitals’ Comprehensive Preventive Health Check-up Programme (PHC), you can now reduce your risk of potentially falling ill. All you have to do is to fix an appointment with the Aster PHC team comprising of trained physicians, nurses and customer service executives, who will guide you to proactive measures that you have to adopt to ensure your physical, emotional and physiological well-being.
Aster Hospitals offer super-speciality heart care at Al Mankhool, Al Qusais and Jebel Ali in Dubai; its heart care services are coming soon in Sharjah
To book an appointment at Aster Hospitals, visit Asterhospital.com or call on 04 440 0500