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Heart Disease, Imagine A World Without It

Updated on February 5, 2017
Imagine a world without heart disease.
Imagine a world without heart disease. | Source

What Is Heart Disease

The Scripps Research Institute, defines the term “heart disease” as a range of diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease, heart rhythm problems which are called arrhythmias, and heart defects.

You may not be aware you have any type of heart disease until something happens, such as blockages in the arteries. I was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and only found out when a cather was done to show possible blockages.

One of the most common causes of heart disease is when you have blockages, in my case peripheral artery disease. These blockages affect the heart's blood supply. Two stents were placed in each groin area but bad news followed. The stents became clogged, an artery by-pass was done to get blood flow back to my legs. Amputation would have been the next step if I hadn't noticed that my leg was getting cold from the feet up.

When there is damage to the heart's muscle, the heart enlarges. It can still pump blood but the ability to pump continues to decline. The heart enlarges because the ventricles stretch and become thin, so the heart becomes enlarged.

The Scripps Research Institute does heart disease research. It is a nonprofit biomedical research institute, therefore, no patients are seen but the research that is done in this laboratory is a study on how the human body operates overall.

The National Institute of General Medical Services of the National Institute of Health awarded a grant in the sum of $1.8 million to use in the development of drugs to treat heart disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The purpose of this grant is to fund a 3 year project which is expected to gain much progress in the area of heart disease research. William R. Rousharcher, researcher and professor of the Scripps Research Institute will oversee the project in it's entirety.

The Scripps Research Institute, founded in 1993 by Ellen Browing Scripps. There are currently two facility locations. Headquartered in San Diego, California and Jupiter, Florida.

Sources: Scripps Research Institute: South Florida business Journal, Reporter: Debora Lima

The Scripps Research Institute

Scripps Research Institute Jupiter, Florida
Scripps Research Institute Jupiter, Florida | Source

Heart Disease - Enlarged Heart

Martti Tenhu, chief medical examiner in Helsinki, Finland, illustrates the differences between a normal human heart and one enlarged by alcoholism and high blood pressure. Covered in scar tissue, the enlarged organ is nearly twice the normal size. Su
Martti Tenhu, chief medical examiner in Helsinki, Finland, illustrates the differences between a normal human heart and one enlarged by alcoholism and high blood pressure. Covered in scar tissue, the enlarged organ is nearly twice the normal size. Su | Source

“Buy books. Unlike high calorie food, they don't give heart attacks.”

— Tanushree Podder

Completed Clinical Trial

The Samsung Medical Center has completed a study on heart disease after surgery. Two hundred twenty patients up to seventeen years old participated. The study began June of 2014 and was completed on February 2016.

The study involved patients who had surgery for congenital heart disease in 2012 at the Samsung Medical Center. The primary time frame was to study the patients during the first seven days after surgery. The second outcome measures was to watch the patient closely after the first 48 hours of surgery.

The purpose of this study involved acute kidney injury because it is a major compliccation after heart surgery. The rate of this type injury can be as high as 42% which increases the patients time in intensive care and the overall hospital stay.

The official title of the study was: Incidence, Risk Factor and Risk Model of Acute Kidney Injury

Samsung Medical Center, Assistant Professor: Won Ho Kim, MD

Seoul, Republic of Korea


Is A Heart Attack Different From A Cardiac Arrest

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A Common Heart Disease

Lets talk about Cardiomegaly because that was my diagnosis. It is commonly known as an enlarged heart and It affects the cardiovascular system. Usually caused by hypertension which I do have or coronary artery disease, which I have too!.

Signs and symptoms include chest pain,unexplained weight gain, swelling in the legs, fainting and heart palpitations. Palpitations occur when the heart beats irregular, you can feel it. When you're physically active and become fatigue quickly is a sign that you do not need to ignore. When any of these symptoms occur, it is time to see a doctor, immediately.

Your tests may include a chest x-ray for the doctor to see the condition of the heart and lungs. An Electrocardiogram test can determine if there is any damage to the heart, check the heart's rhythm and can tell if a heart attack has occurred.

The Echocardiogram test can evaluate all four chambers of the heart at one time. A stress test is give to see how well the heart functions during activity.

A CT Scan (cardiac computerized tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can collect images of the heart and chest.

Blood tests can check the levels of certain substances in the blood that show a heart problem.

Cardiac catherization and biopsy test inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the groin and threaded through the blood vessels to the heart, a small sample (biopsy) of the heart cab be extracted for laboratory analysis.

Keep Your Heart and Arteries Healthy

Keep your heart and arteries healthy by eating servings of fruits and vegetables.
Keep your heart and arteries healthy by eating servings of fruits and vegetables. | Source

Top Choice Heart Healthy Foods

  • Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, keeps the blood flowing and helps to lower your triglycerides (a type of fat that can lead to heart disease).
  • Oatmeal has fiber that lowers your LDL cholesterol.
  • Any berries, fruits and vegetables are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fiber.
  • Walnuts and other nuts such as, almonds, cashews, pistachios, flaxseed, and chia seeds lowers the bad cholesterol and raises the good cholesterol.

Listen To Your Body

When In Doubt

If you see someone who looks like they maybe having a heart attack, call 911

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911

If it looks like a heart attack, feels like a heart attack, call 911

— Bodylevive

What Does Your Heart Say To You?

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      BODYLE......Well HELLO! You & I are sisters of the Heart. I suffered a heart attack in 2002 at age 54. A stent was placed & I seem to have been lucky. I was also diagnosed with peripheral artery disease recently and had a balloon placed in my left thigh.....(the right one possibly soon).

      As for arrhythmia! Dear me. That came on out of the blue about 35 yrs ago. After many Drs, tests & frankly, my OWN research and insistence, I was diagnosed by an electrocardiologist with atrial fibrillation of an electrical source, prescribed fleccinide and FINALLY experienced relief. A problem arose when I had to stop this Rx because of having that heart attack in 2002. I was not given the "reason" for needing to stop the Rx. Needless to say, the atrial fib has resumed in full force with no helpful suggestions from Drs.

      So, I do the best I can in terms of keeping a positive attitude and living each day. I make every effort to not allow these maladies to control my psyche.

      This was so interesting for me to read. I'll be keeping in touch with you! Wishing you the Best of Healthy living! Paula

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I lost my father when I was twenty to a heart attack...he was so young and it was such a shock, but back then people lived such unhealthy lifestyles. Now we seem to be a bit better informed, thanks to articles like this one. Great information!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing again from your own experience. We need to hear about (look at heart disease from every angle. Best to you, going forward--also to the Scripps Research Institute.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 7 months ago from london

      Another great and necessary Hub, needed even by the man on the street as the problem can start anywhere. Maybe you can do one on the uses of AED defibrillators and the great impact they have on saving lives. Excellent job!

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 8 months ago from Alabama, USA

      Thank you FlourishAnyway. I eat oatmeal every morning. No matter what else I run out of in the house, there is always oatmeal! I never miss a day. I'm doing well, all numbers are normal, I guess I can't ask for anything more. I have been through hell! I will post more about my journey soon.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

      This was very informative, both your personal story and the facts you gave. I hope you are okay given all you have been through. That photo of the enlarged heart was dramatic. I was given a medicine a few months ago that had an unintended side effect of raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels. Prior to that I never worried much about my heart but when I couldn't get my pulse down below 115 or so that changed. Stopping the offending medicine and taking a beta blocker did the trick. You've convinced me to eat oatmeal in the morning for breakfast.

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 8 months ago from Alabama, USA

      jo miller, that's great! Changing habits can make a world of difference.

      Kristen Howe, thank you for the edit.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 8 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub. I had open heart surgery a few years ago to fix a hole in my heart that I've had since birth. I've been eating healthy since then. I did see some typo errors in your hub--a missing period after Florida, Capitalize H in headquartered. Nicely done.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 8 months ago from Tennessee

      My husband had open heart surgery a few years back. As a result he changed many of his habits and is in better shape now than he had been in for many years.