Experts highlight the main diagnostic tools and current treatments for the condition.
Dr. Maria Ramos, President of the Puerto Rican Society of Cardiology and Dr. Antonio Orraca, a member of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Society of Cardiology. Photo: Medicine and Public Health Magazine. Fabiola Plaza.
during Annual Conference of the Puerto Rican Society of CardiologyDr. María Ramos, President of the Society and Dr. Antonio Orraca, Member of the Board of Directors, addressed the main challenges of cardiovascular health in Puerto Rico and the high prevalence of diseases in the population.
is one of them irregular heartbeat, an arrhythmia condition where the pulse is irregular. According to Dr. Maria Ramos, “It is a prevalent condition after the age of 60, it is closely associated with increasing age and high blood pressure.”
Experts state that once it is identified, patient should be treated immediately Because the biggest risk of afib is the formation of clots Heart that are the cause of ischemic cerebrovascular infarcts, which are mostly very debilitating for the patient,
This, in turn, indicates that there are patients who present no symptoms or conditions, however, the electrocardiogram shows the opposite: irregular heartbeat, ,The biggest complaint of patients is palpitationsAn irregularity in the pulse that indicates something is not right,” he said. Other symptoms may be: shortness of breath, intolerance to exercise and uncontrolled blood pressure.
Related causes are mainly high blood pressure, although there are others such as sleep apnea, obesity, excess alcohol and certain drugs, in addition to those who consume a product derived from nicotine, not only smoking, but other substances or products. ,There are some stimulants, such as anabolic steroids, that can cause this type of arrhythmia.The expert explained.
He also emphasized that certainly the most serious consequence of Afib is ischemic stroke, “We know that After 65 years of age, 5% of adults may suffer from Afib And after 80 years, 9% can have cardiomyopathy-like consequences and cause weakness. Heart in your pumping”.
For his part, Dr. Antonio Orraca explains that it is important to identify Afib in a patient, because if they have a high risk of developing a cerebrovascular accident as a result of this arrhythmia, The treatment they will start with is matched with anticoagulants.
“In asymptomatic patients, it is essential to be aware of electrocardiograms, sonograms, or equipment to diagnose events and suspects near the patient,” Orraca stressed.
For Dr. Maria Ramos, Afib treatment focuses on alleviating the patient’s symptoms.Let’s check the blood pressure first, Patients sometimes have tachycardia that reaches between 150 and 180 beats per minute, so the first thing to do at that time is to check the pulse.”
Because of the above, Dr. Ramos explained that there are treatments to normalize the patient’s rhythm, either pharmacologically or electrically: there are electrical cardioversion and electrophysiologists perform procedures such as cardiac ablation. Surgical procedures are also done to correct this condition.,
Regarding Afib and its association with the risk of ischemic attack, the specialist explained the treatment options that currently exist and the criteria used to determine them in each patient.
“There are many options from pharmacotherapy aimed at slowing the pulse so that the patient is not symptomatic or even therapy that will resolve the arrhythmia to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Heart, There are times we can do cardioversion, and there are even other percutaneous interventions. Electrophysiologists do them and there are different modalities for this arrhythmia,” Orraca said.
It has also shown conditions in which controlling the patient’s heart rate is complicated, so they have to Check for possible additional causes that are causing the situation,
With regard to the treatment of afib, Dr. Orraca emphasizes that the main thing is anticoagulant and he sheds light on them. Factor Xa Inhibitors and Vitamin K Antagonists (AVK). “In fact, when we have a patient who is fibrillating persistently or paroxysmal, we generally know that they have a higher risk of developing a stroke than the general population.”
In addition, he explains, specialists do a calculation to determine the patient’s risk of clotting as a result of the arrhythmia and see if they are actually going to benefit from anticoagulants, on which, they are taken into account. Factors such as age, lifestyle, and other conditions from which the patient suffers.
Dr. Maria Ramos explained that a healthy lifestyle is the key to avoiding any medical condition, in addition to 80% of heart conditions are preventableTherefore, their recommendations are aimed at: exercising, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, avoiding toxic habits, “consumption of not only alcoholic beverages or drugs, but also excessive amounts of junk food, high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat”.
Finally, Dr. Orraca indicated that in his medical practice he seeks to detect Afib in patients who have had cerebrovascular accidents, “In every patient who has had a cerebrovascular accident, I go to him and Looking for something that suggests the patient may have paroxysmal Afib, according to findings in the electrocardiogram, tests, and risk factors. Afib is a very common cause of cerebrovascular events and we always have to keep it on the radar“He concluded.
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