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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Heart Matters: A Webicon by the Cardinal Santos Medical Center

On its second webicon session, Cardinal Santos Medical Center focused on promoting awareness about Cardiovascular Diseases. Esteemed specialists discussed about the importance of caring for one's heart to prevent cardiovascular ailments and at the same time, how to address or treat an existing heart ailment. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. 

CSMC doctors include Dr. Ariel Miranda, Head of Cardinal Santos' Cardiovascular Institute; Dr. Rochelle Regina Cruz, Critical Care and Heart Failure Unit Head; Dr. Lourdes Ella Santos, Head of Preventive Cardiology; and DR. Regidor Encabo as moderator.

According to Dr. Encabo, there is a perception that cardiovascular diseases only occur among adults aged 60 above, but based on actual cases, there are now a growing number of young people developinng these disease, "That is why it is vital that people learn to identify and manage heart disease risk factors."

Dr. Cruz presented a very animated presentation about heart failure and its symptoms. She is a Heart Failure Cardiologist. 

We all used to think that only "old" people get sick with cardiovascular diseases BUT this is not true. Dr. Cruz identified those under the risk factor are those who have a family history of heart ailments in the family are as vulnerable. Other risk factors include those who are obese, hypertensive, those with diabetes, those with unhealthy lifestyles such as smokers and alcoholic drinkers, and those with sedentary lifestyle. Another surprising risk factor are who suffer from sleep disorders. 

Based on a research survey on Philhealth claims in 2014, Hypertension is one of the common cause of heart failure. 

If the heart is not healthy, it won't be able to pump out blood with oxygen to the body and this can eventually lead to heart failure. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Santos presented some slides and explained about Preventive Strategies to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk.

She talked about preventive cardiology with a focus on managing the associated risk factors, which fall under two classifications: non-modifiable risk factors, which are age, sex, and genetic disorders to name a few; and modifiable risk factors, which include smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diet, increased cholesterol levels, hypertension, inflammation, diabetes, and obesity, among others.

"The role of a preventive cardiologist is to help individuals minimize these risk factors in order to prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases," explained Dr. Santos. "According to the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, a team-based care approach is an effective strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, and this is one of the options being offered by the Preventive Cardiology of Cardinal Santos."

Here is a simple guide provided by the Department of Education about physical activity. 

It is also interesting to note that not all fad diets are healthy. In fact, some can even be the cause of a heart failure. For diets, it is really best to consult a professional dietician to suggest the right food for you and how much intake.

Cutting back on salt can also prevent hypertension and other heart diseases. Too much consumption of salty food retains water in the body so one feels bloated. Eating salty food is double bad especially if the person has a sedentary lifestyle.

Aside from salty food, too much intake of sugary food (dessert, sweets, etc), starchy food (rice, noodles), and even soda can also greatly affect the health of our heart. 

Here's a food alternative guide to have a healthy heart. 

If the person has a weak heart, complications can arise and some effect includes memory loss, blurred vision, and in worst case- heart attack.  

"A heart failure diagnosis is usually made based on your medical history. If you think you have the symptoms, it is best to consult us and we will do the proper physical examination to find other signs of heart failure. And then after that, we will request for heart function tests," said Dr. Cruz. However, most people doesn't really go for medical consultations and some reasons include they are scared, or they are financially challenged.

"One particular important thing why patients do not want to go to the hospital is because they know that they will spend a lot of money," said Dr. Miranda. "A lot of Filipinos, it takes them a long time to decide. Even those who get admitted to the E.R. due to heart attack, they still can't decide if they would want to undergo treatment, because they are thinking of the expenses."

Dr. Miranda concluded that it would be nice if the medical industry will work together in creating coverage options that will help Filipinos with this problem of treating cardiovascular diseases. "We want it so that when a patient visits us, we can assure them that they are covered."


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