In the past 10 years, the number of Thai people who have died from cardiovascular disease, especially “Coronary Artery disease,” has been increasing- it is a major cause of death in Thailand. The main factor causing the disease is food, as people have changed their eating behavior. They are eating high fat and high carbohydrate foods, exercising less and experiencing high stress. Genetics also plays a role.
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
Often there is no sign of disease however a people may experience chest pain, like their chest is being pressed by a heavy object, or they may feel pain from chest to chin or left hand.
- Dyspnea, tried
- Sweating, palpitation
- Unconscious or heart attack.
- Uncontrolled risk factors:
- Age: normally, the risk will increases when people are getting older.
- Genetics: people who have family members have a higher risk of getting coronary artery disease.
- Gender: Men have a greater risk of heart attack than post-menopausal women.
- Controlled risk factors:
- High blood pressure: having high blood pressure for a long time will cause the heart to work harder in circulating blood in the body. It will cause the heart muscle to thicken, the heart will become enlarged and the arteries will become narrow and clotted. These will ultimately lead to heart failure.
- Smoking: a smoker has 2- 4 times the risk of non-smokers because the substance in cigarettes will deteriorate the endothelial cell, narrow the blood vessels and ultimately lead to Myocardial infarction.
- Lipid levels in blood: a person who has high LDL, high cholesterol, will have a higher risk of having a heart disease. These lipids make the arteries walls thicker and the arteries become narrow, causing decreased blood flow in the body. Eventually, arteries will be clotted and could cause heart attack.
- Diabetes: Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease as diabetes will deteriorate the blood vessels.
- Lack of exercise: people who do not exercise much have a higher risk in cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise helps prevent cardiovascular disease and also controls other risk factors e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol levels in blood, diabetes and obesity.
- Obesity: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30 kg./meter2 are at risk of getting cardiovascular disease. BMI= Body weight (Kg.)/height2
If, however a person has a combination of other risk factors, even having a BMI > 25 kg./meter2, correlates with high risk of getting cardiovascular disease.
Causes of Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Disease develops when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed from the build-up of cholesterol and other material, which is called plaque.
It makes the arteries become narrow, and less blood can flow throughout the body. As a result, it creates acute coronary syndrome. If the arteries are too narrow they will get clogged, and this creates myocardial infarction, or heart attack.
Treatment for Coronary Artery disease
The most common treatment for this disease is to open the narrowed coronary artery. This can be done by 2 methods:
1. Treatment by Percutaneous Trans luminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)& Stent
2. Treatment by Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
For the CABG method, the doctor will connect or graft an artery or vein on the left side of the chest with an artery from the left hand or vein on the leg from ankle to inner- thigh by bypassing the block portion of the coronary artery.
“For this treatment, the doctor will perform surgery on the patient when the artery has been become damaged or clogged more than 70%. However, if the substance blocking the artery is only cholesterol, not a plaque, and patient is in 30- 40 years old, the condition may be treated by taking medicine to lower the cholesterol. Moreover, in a case in which only one artery is blocked, the condition also can be treated by taking a medicine or treated by PTCA & stent.
At present, Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting treatment can be performed in 2 ways:
- Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (Off- Pump CABG).This method will not use a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. In other words, there is no need to stop the heart function to treat the problem.
- On- Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (On- Pump CABG). This method will use cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung) machine to stop the heart function while the procedure is being performed.
For more information: Off-Pump CABG Package
The Bangkok Heart Hospital’s objective is to treat the patient by focusing on
- Increasing safety during surgery. We have expert surgeons and doctors with modern medical equipment and meeting international quality standards.
- A highly specialized nurse and support teams who are experts heart care and to help our patients before, during and Post-surgery. Friendliness and high level of care to ensure patient satisfaction in providing 24/7 Heart care emergency services
Living with Coronary Artery Disease
- Carefully follow medicine as per your doctor’s instructions and meet with your doctor as scheduled.
- Eat vegetables, fruit and drink 2- 3 liters of water per day.
- Stop eating when you start to feel full and rest for ½ – 1 hour after a meal.
- The best regular exercise is walking. Start walking slowly and gradually increasing your distance. Be assured that walking longer distances is not beyond your ability.
- Calm the mind, find time to take rest and release stress. Avoid exciting activities e.g. Watching an exciting game.
- Avoid high fat and salty food.
- Stop drinking alcohol and avoid smoking.
- Avoid working hard, being in a rush and working in a long hours.
- When you have chest pain, stop your activity and see your doctor immediately.