World Heart Day 2022: How health technology tools help control cardio-metabolic diseases

Keeping the heart safe. Image courtesy Georgia Tech

India is predisposed to cardiac-related diseases. With being the most leading cause of death globally, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has killed about 17.8 million patients in India, which represents 32 per cent of the global disease burden. CVD also accounts for a group of ailments that often occur together, have a common origin, and exaggerate each other severely on coexistence – this condition is called cardio-metabolic diseases. It is associated with heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hypertension.

Currently, the incidence of cardio-metabolic is on the rise, and it is estimated that at least one of them will be experienced in their lifetimes. However, it is crucial to understand that some cardio-metabolic diseases are entirely preventable and are born out of unhealthy lifestyles and behavioral patterns and habits. They take a heavy toll on health and well-being. They do not exist solo but rather present in different combinations, complexities, and acuity levels specific to each person. If left untreated, they lead to grave outcomes, sometimes fatal.

A scientific thought states that cardio-metabolic diseases are chronic progressive disorders with little chance of remission. Even though the application of AI-driven technology in healthcare has made the remission of Diabetes Mellitus possible, this treatment approach still receives scepticism from medical experts and patients.

Diabetes and hypertension are expected to become significant healthcare challenges in the coming years despite all the research and novel therapies dedicated to them. Their growing incidence is expected to grow many folds shortly. Thus, the status quo has not worked. Traditional treatments tend to reduce symptoms instead of the underlying cause. The scientific communities need to move from disease management to a new standard of precise, personalised care focused on reversing the disease process and promoting healing. Do we have any out-of-the-box approach to contain this metabolic disease giant?

A patient with these metabolic disorders has not only high morbidity and mortality but are also financially burdened due to lifelong treatment plans. These lifestyle diseases are financial burdens for individuals, communities, corporates, and employers. With the present norms of insurance coverage for all employees, individuals with chronic metabolic conditions are the most expensive.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most costly diseases to be insured for. Studies have shown that 80 per cent of deaths due to cardio-metabolic disorders happen in poor and middle-income countries. This is worrisome and tragic considering that many of these developing countries would need to spend billions of rupees on these diseases that were actually easily preventable and lifestyle modification is their key treatment management strategy.

Now the big question here is, Is Artificial intelligence the answer?

With the development and advancement of AI technology in recent years, it has gradually changed from theory to practicality. The multiple applications of AI in medicine are being proven. Additionally, AI technology has become an essential factor that may boost the development of the medical industry and may improve the level of medical services. AI can help clinicians diagnose diseases and optimise treatment processes.

After being applied to traditional medical procedures, AI can reduce the rate of misdiagnosis and improve diagnostic efficiency. AI also can recognise medical images and provide clinicians with more reliable imaging diagnostic information. Lastly, by using big data analysis AI algorithms can often provide more accurate results for patient prognosis and disease prediction.

The latest development in health monitoring technology now allows the user to create dynamic digital replicas of any individual patient’s metabolism based on thousands of digital data points collected from sources that include non-invasive sensors and patients’ self-reported preferences. With the help of AI-dependent individualized, precise, and personalised information is generated across nutrition, sleep, activity, and breathing processes.

A digital replica of individual metabolism is created, and apart from the precision, prediction is possible of future events due to the disease process. This will help in taking corrective steps to avoid the impending crisis.

Sticking to the theory, the practical results of using AI-driven technology in the disease management process can lead to weight loss, diabetes remission, and reversal of toxic metabolic state. AI is a trend, and this will play a key role in managing chronic cardio-metabolic disorders. Perhaps these disorders would be as curable as infections in the near future.

The author is a cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Punjab. Views are personal.

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World Heart Day 2022: Are fitness freaks at risk of a heart attack?

Representational image. Shutterstock

The recent death of Indian comedian Raju Srivastava, after collapsing while exercising due to a heart attack has raised many questions about over-exercising and over-exertion. Should people limit their exercise routines? Is over-exercising weakening our heart? Is our idea of being fit and lean wearing out our hearts? While it is well known that regular exercise helps strengthen the heart and lowers long-term cardiovascular risks, strenuous exercise does increase the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests.

Generally, moderate intensity exercise of 150 minutes every week is recommended to strengthen your heart muscles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Extending your workout routine beyond the given time does not guarantee additional health benefits. There is even a possibility that an individual is already has a greater risk than normal, either due to lifestyle or genetics.

According to the Indian Heart Association, India accounts for approximately 60% of the world’s heart disease burden (5), despite having less than 20 per cent of the world’s population. Heart disease is the number one cause of mortality and a silent epidemic among Indians. It reports that 50 per cent of heart attacks in Indians occur before the age of 50 and 25% before the age of 40.

Indians have a genetic predisposition to develop heart disease 15 or 20 years earlier than Western and Japanese populations. As our genes cannot be altered, we must look at modifiable factors like our lifestyle, sleep cycle, and stress. A healthy diet along with regular exercise is essential for maintaining physical and mental health.

High-intensity workouts and low-calorie consumption result in deficits as the body depletes its nutrition reserves. The practice of following fad diets for weight loss promotes starvation, anemia, heart disease, stroke, mental illness, etc. Your diet should be aligned with your exercise regime. It is important to choose healthy carbs to fuel one’s brain and body.

A workout requires carbohydrates to replenish the body. In addition to repairing muscle microtears, quality proteins boost blood flow post-workout. Some fats like Polyunsaturated fats are advantageous for health despite being calorically dense. One can also look for sunflower oil, soybean oil, and various nuts and seeds as they contain omega-fatty acids. To conclude, exercise should not be questioned; rather, it should be reinforced. Moderate physical activity and a healthy diet, however, are strongly endorsed for heart health

Achieving cardiovascular health is something that everyone should aim at to maintain heart health. Physical fitness may not always be the same as biological fitness which is about being healthy metabolically. As the human body ages, small cholesterol deposits or plaques build up in its arteries and can worsen with stress and biological stress such as acute infections.

Warning signs of a heart attack

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

Having pain, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or discomfort in the arm, chest, or area behind the breastbone
Pain in your arm, back, jaw, or throat
Suffocation, bloating, or fullness (it may feel like heartburn).
Feeling lightheaded, sweaty, nauseated, or vomiting
Excessive fatigue, anxiety, or shortness of breath
The pulse rate is rapid or irregular

What tests should be done to check cardiac fitness?

Cardiac diseases can start at an early age. To prevent further heart attacks, you should get your first BP, diabetes, and lipid profile test done at the age of 18 years and then continue every three to four years. Keeping a track of your BP during every clinical visit is also a must. Getting your ECG once every year when you turn 40 years can be helpful. Depending on your condition, the doctor may space out the frequency. Recently, ECG patches for long term monitoring have come out, such as single lead Patch and the 7Lead patch. This newer technology has advantage of real-time analysis using artificial intelligence, which means that one does not have to wait till the end of monitoring period in the event of interim cardiac rhythm abnormalities. These are great to detect cardiac rhythm problems early on. Several common symptoms, such as dizziness, anxiety and palpitations could be due to cardiac rhythm problems and screening them early can prevent further complications, such as a stroke.

The author is Head of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Views are personal.

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World Heart Day 2022: Watch out for early signs of heart failure

High cholesterol increases the chance of heart attack. Image courtesy News18

Heart failure refers to a medical condition of a patient when their heart muscle is not pumping enough blood. One of the major causes of reduction in heart’s ability to pump blood is coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attack. However, faulty heart valves, chronic blood pressure, or genetic disease can also be a cause of heart failure.

According to a report by the Indian Heart Association, 50 per cent of heart failure in Indian men occurs under 50 years of age, 25 per cent of all heart attacks in Indian men occur under the age of 40 years of age, and Indian women have high mortality rates from cardiac disease as well. While these statistics are alarming, proper treatment is possible if signs and symptoms are not ignored.

Symptoms

The early signs and symptoms of heart failure are often very subtle and can be dangerous if left unnoticed. People attribute symptoms of heart failure as just getting old. Some of the key symptoms are:

Fatigue

When a person’s heart becomes incapable of pumping oxygen-rich blood effectively, the person can feel tired or fatigued. They are unable to do their regular chores with ease. They may find difficulty in performing activities like walking, cycling, or climbing stairs.

Restriction on activity

People with heart failure are unable to their normal day-to-day activities because they become tired easily. This can also result in reduced concentration as they are exhausted and tired.

Congestion

When a person’s heart is not pumping enough blood, it leads to fluids build-up. The fluid build-up in the lungs of a person can also lead to coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties.

Edema or ankle swelling

A swollen ankle can be an early sign of heart failure in a patient. As the heart doesn’t have enough pumping power to drive used blood back up from the lower extremities, fluid gets collected in the ankles, legs, thighs, and even in one’s abdomen. This fluid can also cause weight gain in some patients.

Shortness of breath

The fluid in the lungs makes it difficult for carbon dioxide in used blood to be exchanged for fresh oxygen. It may also be difficult for some to breathe when lying down, owing to gravity that allows fluid from below the lungs to travel up the torso.

While these signs do not confirm a diagnosis of heart failure, they do convey a sense of urgency to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure and any of the symptoms suddenly worsen or you may experience any new symptom, it may indicate that your heart failure is worsening or that your therapy is not working. In such a situation, it is important to see a physician at the earliest

Patients often believe that heart failure is end of life and that it cannot be treated. However, in reality, heart failure patients have effective treatment options, including lifestyle modifications, medications, and medical devices, which can improve heart failure and prolong survival.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and not meant to provide any medical or clinical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information.

The author is D.M. (Cardiology), Senior Cardiologist, Saroj Medical Institute and Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi. Views are personal.

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World Heart Day 2022: Why CPR is a life-saving skill to help a cardiac arrest patient

CPR. Image courtesy Bruce Blaus

According to the World Health Organisation, the incidence of cardiovascular fatalities in India is increasing drastically by 34 per cent over the previous 26 years.. Moreover, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) solely, account for 53 per 1 lakh cases, contributing to 5.6 per cent of total mortality in India. With each crucial minute of delay, the chances of the patient’s survival are reduced by 7-10 per cent. Hence, it is the need of the hour to learn more about SCA and some timely treatment strategies that can help in saving lives and reducing mortality.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by the sudden loss of breathing, heart function, and consciousness. The blood flow to the rest of the body stops since an electrical issue in the heart halts the heart’s pumping action suddenly. If not treated immediately, SCA can be fatal. Hence prompt and appropriate medical attention must be provided to the patient so that survival is feasible. One of the ways in which this can be performed is Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

What is CPR and why do we need It?

CPR is an attempt to restore the cardio-respiratory function and thus circulation temporarily by chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth or mouth-nose respiration. When a person has a cardiac arrest the blood flow stops. As a result, the heart stops pumping oxygenated blood to the brain and other important organs. However, such a person can still be resuscitated biologically by immediately restoring blood supply to the brain and other essential organs. There are around 10 minutes between clinical death and biological death, which allows us to keep the brain alive and save the individual’s life. CPR cannot restart a heart, but it can buy time until medical assistance arrives, or automatic defibrillators are used to shock and restore the heart.

How to perform CPR?

Step 1: Breathing check

First, lay the victim on their back and check if there is any sign of breathing, like chest rising or falling, or hearing the breath. If you do not hear any breathing or hear only sporadic gasps start administering CPR immediately.

Step 2: Begin CPR

30 chest compressions need to be performed. Place one hand on top of the other and clasp your hands together. Push hard and rapidly in the centre of the chest at least 2 inches, slightly below the nipples, with the heel of the palms and straight elbows.

Step 3: Continue CPR

Compress their chest 100-120 times per minute. Between compressions, make sure the chest rises completely. Avoid removing your hands from the victim’s chest and continue this process till medical help arrives.

CPR awareness in India

In India, the correct technique of CPR is only known to less than 2 per cent of the population. In the country, around 4,280 people per 1 lakh population die from cardiac arrest each year. Every minute, 112 individuals die from cardiac arrest. Hence creating awareness and educating the public about CPR is extremely important. In the case of SCA, if ambulances are unable to reach the patients in time, then administering CPR during the first 3 crucial minutes can save someone’s life. Thus, every individual should actively look out for ways to learn more about CPR.

Learning about CPR

Undoubtedly, CPR is one of the most important ‘life-saving skills’ that every person should be familiar with. Ideally, it should be made compulsory in schools and workplaces. It is essential to know CPR since the cardiac arrest victim’s only hope is the CPR provided by first responders or on-lookers. Any delay in initiating the bystander CPR will result in the death of the victim.

You can learn and master the CPR method by enrolling in a CPR training course. If you don’t want to take professional training, you can practice the basic procedures with a dummy or a known individual. In any event, understanding this life-saving technique is critical since it can help you become a rescuer for someone, particularly your loved ones.

The author is Director – Electrophysiology & Cardiac Pacing, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute. Views are personal.

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World Heart Day 2022: Top pollutants of your heart and what you can do

Keeping the heart safe. Image courtesy Georgia Tech

The link between pollution and heart disease has always been known. The forms of pollution we expose ourselves to could be categorised into:

Things within our control such as tobacco use (including vaping and cigars), alcoholism, unhealthy eating and drinking habits. These could be extended to home cook stoves using biomass fuels — wood, coal, straw, dung, and charcoal. In richer households, inadequate ventilation, aerosol sprays, and volatile cleaning products could also be problematic.
Things outside our control such as air pollutants, toxic metal pollutants, plastic and chemical pollutants.

Merely recognising these as risk factors will increase the awareness level of cardiovascular diseases and enhance not just early detection, but also guided treatment and prevention of CVD risk in Indians. Besides this, as a thumb rule, you may be more vulnerable to pollution-led long-term hypertension, if you are:

of advanced age
have had prior cardiovascular disease
have had prior pulmonary disease
some form of immunosuppression; e.g. including COVID infection.
live in a very highly polluted city
live in proximity to highways and industrial facilities.
have an occupation that is connected to contact with pollutants.
have exposure to wildfire smoke and dust storms.

Air pollution

Air pollution is the world’s fourth leading cause of disease causing a 51 per cent increase in deaths since 1990. Without aggressive intervention, it is projected that these deaths could double by 2050, especially in South and East Asia.

The list of particulate and gaseous primary pollutants would include sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, which are released directly into the atmosphere, as well as secondary pollutants such as groundlevel ozone that are formed in the atmosphere. Organic aerosols such as benzene, toluene etc; are also pollutants. Most habits such as smoking, exposure to harmful gases while cooking and using cleaning products that are harmful also contribute to air pollution.

In recent times, scientific research has specifically linked ‘long-term exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides’ to the premature ageing of blood vessels and rapid build-up of calcium in the coronary artery. This build-up of calcium can restrict blood flow to the heart and other major blood vessels –increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

Solution: Shift to green vehicles and green cooking technologies. Quit smoking and check the labels of the cleaning products used at home. Use N95 masks if you are in high risk category travelling in congested areas.

Metal pollution

Metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium have long been implicated in the causation of cancer, neurobehavioral disorders, and renal disease. Toxic metal pollutants are now linked by an increasing body of evidence to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Lead is a known risk factor for hypertension. Mercury is known to potentially cause an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and nonfatal myocardial infarction. Mercury, contained in coal- becomes methylmercury in aquatic environments and is a potent developmental neuro-toxicant as well. Exposure to arsenic has also been connected to coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease. Specific experimental evidence is available to confirm that arsenic exposure accelerates atherogenesis and appears to cause tissue damage through oxidative and inflammatory pathways. This happens due to contamination of drinking water by naturally occurring arsenic. Cadmium is another confirmed atherogenic which human beings are exposed to.

Thanks to tobacco smoke and the consumption of green, leafy vegetables, cereals, and tubers grown in contaminated soils.

Solution: Become a more aware consumer. Stop polluting yourself and educate your family and society about the sources of these pollutants and steer clear of them.

Plastic pollution

This is also preventable by personal caution. Plastic-associated chemicals include bisphenol A (commonly called BPA) and phthalates. These materials are found in personal care products, food preservatives, pharmaceuticals, and paper products. They are associated with increased risks of diabetes and obesity.

The other side to this is the plastic trash that washes into the ocean and broken down into tiny fragments known as micro-plastics. These are consumed by marine creatures and are known to travel up the food chain. Micro plastics are known to alter the shape of and de-cluster human lung cells. Any damage to lungs contributes to compromising the heart. Extensive studies have shown phthalates to be well-known endocrine disruptors, with potential links to heart disease.

Solution: Minimise use of plastics in life. Avoid single use plastics entirely and become an ambassador for the environment.

Conclusion

Whatever the kind of pollution, if you are a victim of clinically significant exposure to pollution, visit a doctor. At the individual level, one can talk about minimising vigorous outdoor exercise on “bad air” days and reducing hazardous occupational exposures such as choosing less congested commutes and avoiding travel to heavily polluted regions. One should also ideally avoid the use of gas stoves, fireplaces, plug-in scents, incense, and other sources of household air pollution.

However, long-term reduction in pollution-related cardiovascular disease will require more than just changing individual behaviours. It will necessitate wide-scale control of pollution at its sources.

The author is world’s leading cardiac surgeon and head of Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai. Vews are personal.

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Explained: What is Khosta-2, new COVID-like virus found in Russian bats?

The virus was first identified in bat samples collected between March and October 2020 near Sochi National Park in Russia. AFP

Just as the world is recovering from the onslaught of the COVID pandemic, scientists have flagged concerns over the discovery of a new COVID-like virus — Khosta-2. It is not detected in China but in Russia and is found in bats.

According to a study conducted by Washington State University and its findings published by a journal called PLOS Pathogens, Khosta-2 has the potential to infect humans and is resistant to the existing COVID vaccines.

Here’s what we know about the virus so far.

What is Khosta-2?

The virus was first identified in bat samples collected between March and October 2020 near Sochi National Park in Russia.

A sarbecovirus – a respiratory virus that can be detected by PCR on oral or nasal swabs – Khosta-2 has been found to interact with the same entry receptor as SARS-Cov-2. Through this study, scientists have tried to find how well the spike protein from the virus in question can infect human cells under different conditions.

The study found that the spike from Khosta-2 can indeed affect cells using the same entry mechanism as SARS-Cov-2. The virus also showed resistance to COVID vaccines.

According to PLOS Pathogens, two clade 3 sarbecoviruses were identified in Rhinolophus bats in Russia – Khosta-1 was found in Rhinolophus ferrumeguinum while Khosta-2 was found in Rhinolophus hipposideros.

The study says, “While these two viruses are in a viral lineage distinct from SARS-CoV-1 and -2, the RBD (receptor binding domain) from one virus, Khosta 2, was capable of using human ACE2 to facilitate cell entry.”

The RBD is where the sarbecovirus mixes up with receptor molecules on human cells.

Michael Letko, the corresponding author of the study, said, “Genetically, these weird Russian viruses looked like some of the others that had been discovered elsewhere around the world, but because they did not look like SARS-CoV-2, no one thought they were really anything to get too excited about.”

How does Khosta-2 spread?

Tests conducted as a part of the research showed that Khosta-2 was able to infect human cells in a near-identical manner as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus uses a spike-like protein to hook onto an entry enzyme found on the exterior of human cells called Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2). According to a report by Daily Mail, the process can be described as a key being inserted into a lock.

While Khosta-2 has the ability to latch onto human cells, experts say that it doesn’t do it as efficiently as SARS-Cov-2.

Letko told Newsweek, that it is still difficult to determine whether Khosta-2 has the potential to spark an epidemic or even a pandemic.

How is it similar to COVID?

The study reveals that both Khosta-2 and SARS-Cov-2 belong to the same sub-category of coronaviruses. Similar to COVID, Khosta-2 uses the spike protein to enter and infect human cells.

According to a report by Time, even though Khosta-2 does not seem to have genes that could cause serious illnesses in humans, Letko suggests that once the virus starts circulating more widely and starts to mix with genes from SARS-Cov-2, it could pose a major threat to health.

“One of the things we’re worried about is that when related coronaviruses get into the same animal, and into the same cells, then they can recombine and out comes a new virus. The worry is that SARS-CoV-2 could spill back over to animals infected with something like Khosta-2 and recombine and then infect human cells. They could be resistant to vaccine immunity and also have some more virulent factors. What the chances of that are, who knows? But it could in theory happen during a recombination event,” said Letko.

Is Khosta-2 resistant to COVID vaccines?

The study says no.

Scientists conducted experiments to determine whether or not current COVID vaccines are effective to destroy Khosta-2. The virus appeared to be resistant to two doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

They also tested serum from people who were infected with the Omicron variant. But the antibodies for that too proved to be ineffective.

Lekto said, “Right now, there are groups trying to come up with a vaccine that doesn’t just protect against the next variant of SARS-2 (SARS-CoV-2) but actually protects us against the sarbecoviruses in general.”

Although the current vaccines don’t work, the group of scientists believe that is “still possible” that natural COVID immunity can potentially beat off the virus.

With inputs from agencies

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World Heart Day 2022: Is sudden cardiac arrest more dangerous than a heart attack?

Representational image. Shutterstock

Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are often used interchangeably. However, SCA and heart attack are two different medical conditions that need different treatments.

SCA is an unforeseen event that can become fatal. According to the data published in the Indian Journal of Anaesthesia, over 70 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home and 90 per cent of people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. Over 60 per cent of all cardiac deaths occur in India, with an estimated mortality rate of 4,280 per 1 lakh patients.

On the other hand, a heart attack is a condition where a clogged artery stops oxygen-rich blood from reaching a portion of the heart. The region of the heart that is regularly nourished by an artery begins to perish if the blocked artery is not restored immediately. The longer a person goes without therapy, the more serious the consequences become.

What is sudden cardiac arrest? How is it different from a heart attack?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a much more severe condition than a heart attack. It is a situation when the patient’s heartbeat stops unexpectedly and abruptly because of an irregular heart rate and the patient passes away within a few minutes. A patient with SCA will experience little to no warning signs before losing consciousness and collapsing. It is an “electric problem” in which the heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body. SCA is now among the leading causes of death on a global scale. It is important to know that the heart begins to beat at a rate of 350-400 BPM (beats per minute) before the arrest.

It is a common misconception that SCA and heart attack are the same thing. A heart attack is a “circulation problem” in which the blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a certain part of the heart. The victim of a heart attack remains conscious, and the heart is still beating.

However, with SCA, the heart immediately stops beating as it does not pump blood throughout the body. The victim begins to breathe strangely and goes into unconsciousness.

What is the link between the two?

These two heart problems are related. The chances of SCA increase after a heart attack or even during recovery. Most heart attacks do not result in sudden cardiac death. But when SCA occurs, a heart attack is a common cause. SCA can also result from other heart disorders that cause changes in the heart’s rhythm. These include heart failure, ventricular fibrillation, thickening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), and lengthy Q-T syndrome.

What is the difference in treatment between SCA and heart attack?

There is only a 10 per cent chance that the victim will survive a cardiac arrest without immediate treatment. To treat a SCA, a defibrillator or CPR can be used to restart the heart in cardiac arrest patients within minutes. After the patient is brought back to life, the focus of the treatment is on determining and minimising the cause of the arrest. For patients who have high-risk conditions, doctors implant a cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to bring them into a normal condition. It is a device that shocks the heart with a normal rhythm when an irregular rhythm is detected.

While in a heart attack, the blockages are cleared with thrombolytic therapy. It is used to break up clots. Stents can also be used to treat heart attacks. This medical device is placed using a catheter and props the artery open, ensuring proper blood flow to the heart.

As a result of lifestyle issues like lack of physical exercise, long working hours, and excessive stress, the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest is on the rise, especially in the younger population. People should make significant changes in their lifestyle and get regular body check-ups to prevent heart diseases like SCA and heart attack.

Disclaimer: The article is for educational purposes only. Kindly consult your doctor for a better understanding about your medical condition.

The author is a Senior Consultant Cardiologist & Clinical lead – Cardiac Electrophysiologist Kauvery Hospital, Chennai. Views are personal.

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PhenQ Reviews 2022: Does The Diet Pills Help Burn Fat Safely?

When someone decides to take on weight loss, most of the time it would be the toughest thing they ever have to do. People often think that eating less is all you have to do to lose weight, but that does not always work. You have to kickstart several processes to end up with proper weight loss.

You need dietary supplements such as PhenQ to boost your weight loss efforts. Such a dietary supplement will boost the various processes including metabolism, mood and energy levels to ensure the resultant weight loss is easily noticeable.

Reading PhenQ reviews would make it a worthy consideration. That is why we also had to review it properly to see how PhenQ can support weight loss and where to get it if you are interested.

What is PhenQ

PhenQ is a popular supplement you take to achieve weight loss benefits. The supplement can help you lose weight by improving your metabolism rate, suppressing appetite, and limiting fat production.

As you can see, it is possible to lose excess weight.

The product is made by Wolfson Brands Limited, which is a top brand in the health and fitness sector. Considering the brand has been making high-quality weight loss supplements for over 15 years, PhenQ should also just be as good.

PhenQ stands out for having powerful weight loss pills, thanks to the natural ingredients they contain. So far, the PhenQ reviews do not show cases of severe side effects, as reported by Healthcanal.com. This would be good for those who need to shed excess weight and get healthier.

>>Click here to get the best deal on PhenQ<<

How Does PhenQ Diet Pills Work to Burn Fat

PhenQ weight loss pills have ingredients that can help you lose excess weight and gain lean muscle mass. That is why some consider them the best diet pills for men as you can gain more muscle if paired with workouts.

To do all this, PhenQ is made with natural ingredients. These ingredients largely make it a great pick. You will find that they do have scientific evidence showing how they can improve your metabolism and burn fat.

This natural supplement’s ingredients such as caffeine and capsimax, will boost the thermogenesis process. This is where the body burns fat for energy. This would happen even if you are at rest. So, when this process is jumpstarted, you can have the best fat-burning process and eventually lose weight.

Even with the body now burning more fat, it still needs to keep the production of new fat cells low. That is why you also get that the PhenQ fat-burning pills will also have ingredients such as capsimax powder that keep fat production and absorption to a minimum.

The PhenQ supplement will block fat storage by helping the body release enzymes key to blocking fat absorption and generation. If you can burn more fat cells than what is being generated, then it is possible to lose excess body weight and prevent gaining weight.

The calorie intake also plays a vital role in losing weight. The PhenQ pills will do a good job of crushing food cravings. This is because of ingredients such as chromium picolinate, caffeine, and nopal cactus. If you can suppress appetite, it means that the body will burn fat for energy, thus losing weight.

What Makes PhenQ The Best Weight Loss Supplement 2022

When you are in the market for a PhenQ supplement, you would want to know what makes it better than the other weight loss supplements. Here is what to expect each time you take a PhenQ diet pill.

Noticeable Results

If you look at the reviews of people who have used PhenQ, most would claim that it helped them lose weight better than the others.

These noticeable results can vary from one person to another. There are times when you can find that it takes longer while others take a shorter time. So, have a realistic goal, and you might just like the overall results of using PhenQ.

Since PhenQ can also block fat production, you can see how you will not regain all the weight you had lost in the first place. You can always consider using more PhenQ pills even after achieving your target weight.

Appetite Suppression

Suppressing appetite is another reason people would consider getting the PhenQ diet pills. This is because the body needs to be at a calorie deficit to burn more stored fat. When there is appetite suppression, it also means no more fat accumulation. This generally improves how fast you burn fat and manage to keep it off.

Boosted Energy

Each time stored body fat is burned, it leads to more energy. That is why those people who are using the diet pill more often love the energy levels they get.

When trying to lose weight, you might find that you do not have the energy as before. However, that changes when you start using PhenQ.

Other than more energy, you will also like the improved fat-burning rate than what you had before. So, you get to burn more calories and gain more energy with less fat in the end.

Better Moods

Each time you weigh yourself and find that the weight loss journey is not what you wanted, it is possible to get demoralized. That changes with these PhenQ diet pills for women. This is because the diet pills will balance your mood and help you stay positive as you try to lose weight.

PhenQ Ingredients

The ingredients of any weight loss supplement largely determine what would be the right product for your weight loss journey. We find that PhenQ has several ingredients you may find good for weight loss. Let us learn more below.

?-LACYS RESET

This is a key ingredient in the PhenQ formula to help burn body fat. The ingredient combines magnesium, cysteine base, and alpha-lipoic acid. For this reason, it can do much more for your health than burning body fat.

The work of the ingredient is to boost overall metabolic response. It also helps trigger thermogenesis. As a result, you end up burning more fat than before.

Thanks to its performance, the ingredient is trademarked by the brand-making PhenQ. You will not find it being used by other weight loss supplements in the market. When it gets to a point the brand trademarks its ingredients, you know it is quite good at its job.

Capsimax Powder

Capsimax powder is a common ingredient to see in a weight loss supplement. Most people would consider such a supplement to lose fat because of the proven track record of the ingredient.

The ingredient is good in terms of increasing the thermogenic processes and still supports overall fat loss.

The capsimax powder in the PhenQ supplement still contains niacin, piperine, and caffeine. These are all crucial ingredients that would lead to improved health.

Some studies show how the powder could boost fatty acids in the body cells. These free fatty acids would largely help regulate blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and immune response.

Chromium Picolinate

You will need chromium picolinate for your weight loss journey and also to prevent fat accumulation. The compound has both chromium and picolinic acid.

Chromium picolinate is key in curbing your cravings for high-sugar foods and carbs too. When your cravings are kept in check, you can stick to a healthy diet and still reduce the number of calories you take per day.

The ingredient may still promote nutrient metabolism. This means you can break down foods faster and absorb the nutrients better. As you can see, it does more other than help you lose weight.

Caffeine

The natural caffeine in PhenQ, is important to improve your weight loss process. First, we see that caffeine will help in keeping you alert. Even if you were to work on a project, you would find it easier to handle generally.

Caffeine also promotes thermogenesis which is a key fat-burning process to losing weight. If you burn body fat at an increased rate, it is possible to lose a lot more weight than before.

You will also notice that you are no longer hungry all the time. This is because how caffeine can help suppress appetite. Make sure to stick to a proper diet also to improve how fast you lose weight.

Nopal

Nopal has many health benefits in addition to weight loss. We find that it may be good for treating diabetes, hangovers, high cholesterol, and obesity.

During your weight loss process, you need better control of your appetite. That is what you get this ingredient. It promotes the feeling of satiety so that you eat less food.

Nopal may also help reduce the chances of fat accumulation. So, you no longer eat so much food, and still, you keep off new fat cells. It is easy to see how you would lose weight now.

L-Carnitine Furmarate

L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid mostly produced in the kidneys, liver, and brain. The work of this ingredient would be to convert fat to give off energy.

Since it might not be enough for the body, it is best sometimes to get it in supplement form. PhenQ has you covered at this point. Expect the body to have enough L-carnitine so that it can burn through the fat even better.

Does PhenQ Have Side Effects

If you can lose unwanted fat and experience other health benefits, then more people would consider using PhenQ. However, does it have side effects?

PhenQ generally has safe ingredients, but some customers have claimed to experience mild side effects. These side effects may include stomach upset, headaches, nausea, and restlessness.

It is advisable that always consider using PhenQ with food to keep the potential stomach upset and nausea to a minimum. Consider also sticking to the recommended dosage to keep the side effects low.

PhenQ Reviews Before and After: How Long To See Results

Shedding excess body weight has always been a challenge until I used PhenQ dietary supplement. Right now, it is my third month, and I have lost 20 pounds. – April

I no longer have sugar cravings thanks to using PhenQ. Also, I have lost my belly fat over the last month. I know there is still work to do, but this is good so far. P- Axelle.

I had tried different diets before, and none worked great. For this reason, I preferred to consider PhenQ. In just two weeks, I am down 10 pounds. Also, I can see my waist shrinking. Quite a good value for money product. – Christian

>>Click here to get the best deal on PhenQ<<

How to Use PhenQ to Achieve Weight Loss Goal

Most weight loss supplements will have a dosage you should follow if you want to lose weight faster and keep it off too. That applies to the PhenQ weight loss supplement too.

PhenQ recommends that you only take two capsules per day. Have one before breakfast and another one before lunch. Spreading your dose this way increases the chances of losing weight.

Health Canal does not recommend using the diet pills around dinner time. This is because PhenQ is high in caffeine, which can otherwise interfere with your sleep quality.

You should take PhenQ pills but still have realistic weight loss goals. Some people expect to lose weight almost immediately. That does not always work when using dietary supplements. Give yourself at least four to six weeks to see major differences in your weight loss.

It is possible to keep using the diet pills even after achieving your weight loss goals. This is to keep yourself from regaining weight.

Still, we recommend that you also adopt a healthy diet and work out more often. In case you are not an active person, it might be time you started working out.

Conclusion

Having a 60-day money-back guarantee is something that appeals to many people. They know that the brand has confidence in the product to burn extra body fat and leave them looking good. Looking at this PhenQ review and other PhenQ real reviews from its website, we can conclude that the product can be good for those struggling with weight loss.

We would also like to insist on using the right PhenQ dosage for burning stored fat. That would also minimize the potential side effects. Using exercise and a proper diet should make the weight loss progress faster.

Frequently Asked Question

How much weight can you lose in a month with PhenQ?

You may lose an average of 10 pounds in a month when using PhenQ. No need to overuse the pills as that will not increase the benefits of PhenQ.

What are the side effects of PhenQ diet pills?

You may face mild side effects, including headaches, stomach upset, and restlessness. Such side effects can be kept to a minimum if you stick to the right dosage.

How long will it take for PhenQ pills to work?

It might take a couple of weeks for you to notice the difference. Remember that the results would also vary from person to person.

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Mike Tyson has sciatica: What’s this nerve condition that leaves him ‘unable to talk’?

Mike Tyson has revealed that he is suffering from sciatica, a condition that impacts the nerves, causing pain in the lower back and leg. AFP

Legendary boxer Mike Tyson was pictured at an airport in a wheelchair, leaving the world wondering what is ailing him. He has now revealed that he is suffering from a debilitating health condition, sciatica.

It’s a nerve-impacting ailment that makes him unable to talk sometime. “I have sciatica every now and then, it flares up. When it flares up, I can’t even talk. Thank god, it’s the only health problem I have,” the 56-year-old former heavyweight champion told Newsmax TV in a recent interaction.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition used to describe nerve pain in the leg that is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet.

The sciatic nerve is the body’s longest and one of the most important nerves. It has an impact on the person’s ability to control and feel the legs.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom caused by an underlying injury to the sciatic nerve or an area that affects the nerve, such as the vertebrae, which are the bones in the neck and back, according to Healthline. It is caused by a herniated or slipped disc, spondylolisthesis, muscle spasm, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or an overgrowing bone which pressurises the nerve.

What does sciatica feel like?

The condition leads to a burning sensation and shooting pain in the lower back and radiates down to the thigh, leg or feet, sometimes making it difficult for people to walk. It may be accompanied by numbness.

It usually affects one leg. Both legs are rarely affected, according to a health website called Spine Health. The pain might worsen while sitting, trying to stand up, bending forward, twisting, lying down, and/or coughing and sneezing.

If not treated for long, the condition can lead to permanent neurological damage and impact one’s ability to talk. “…sometimes it increases the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease, behaviour change, Bell’s Palsy, Alzheimer and epilepsy,” Deeksha Katiyar, physician, at WeClinic Homoeopathy, told indianexpress.com.

Can it be treated?

Yes, from home remedies to medicines, treatment is available for sciatica. However, lying in bed or stopping activities can worsen the condition. Standing for more than 40 minutes is also not recommended.

The United Kingdon’s National Health Service warns against sitting or lying down for longer periods. “Even if moving hurts, it’s not harmful and can help you get better faster,” it says.

Hot and cold treatments, stretching, regular exercise, and physiotherapy can improve the condition within four to six weeks. Doctors might prescribe muscle relaxants and pain relievers.

Surgery may be needed for severe pain or situations in case a patient has lost control of bowel and bladder or has developed weakness in certain muscle groups of the lower extremity, according to Healthline.

How bad is Mike Tyson’s condition?

The boxer was seen in a wheelchair and holding a walking stick at Miami International Airport recently. He was also spotted in New York using a walking stick.

In the interview with Newsmax TV, ‘Iron Mike’ clarified that he has sciatica now and then. “When it flares up, I can’t even talk! Thank God it’s the only health problem I have. I’m splendid now,” he said.

“Everybody in my house is truly blessed and we’re all very grateful for whatever we have.”

Tyson appears to be suffering from complications related to his back.

He was forced to retire in 2005 because of back-related health problems. He also suffered a knee injury later in his career.

On his Hotboxin podcast Tyson once said that he did not believe he had long left to live, reports Daily Mail. “We’re all gonna die one day of course. Then, when I look in the mirror, I see those little spots on my face,” he said.

“I say, ‘Wow. That means my expiration date is coming close, really soon.”

With inputs from agencies

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Here’s how COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage in those affected

Jeffrey M. Sturek, University of Virginia and Alexandra Kadl, University of Virginia

“I just can’t do what I used to anymore.”

As pulmonologists and critical care doctors treating patients with lung disease, we have heard many of our patients recovering from COVID-19 tell us this even months after their initial diagnosis. Though they may have survived the most life-threatening phase of their illness, they have yet to return to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, struggling with activities ranging from strenuous exercise to doing laundry.

These lingering effects, called long COVID, have affected as many as 1 in 5 American adults diagnosed with COVID-19. Long COVID includes a wide range of symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can result from damage to or malfunctioning of multiple organ systems, and understanding the causes of long COVID is a special research focus of the Biden-Harris administration.

Not all breathing problems are related to the lungs, but in many cases the lungs are affected. Looking at the lungs’ basic functions and how they can be affected by disease may help clarify what is on the horizon for some patients after a COVID-19 infection.

Normal lung function

The main function of the lungs is to bring oxygen-rich air into the body and expel carbon dioxide. When air flows into the lungs, it is brought into close proximity with the blood, where oxygen diffuses into the body and carbon dioxide diffuses out.

The lungs bring oxygen into and carbon dioxide out of the body.

This process, as simple as it sounds, requires an extraordinary coordination of air flow, or ventilation, and blood flow, or perfusion. There are over 20 divisions in your airway, starting at the main windpipe, or the trachea, all the way out to the little balloons at the end of the airway, called alveoli, that are in close contact with your blood vessels.

By the time a molecule of oxygen gets down to the end of the airway, there are about 300 million of these little alveoli it could end up in, with a total surface area of over 1,000 square feet (100 square meters) where gas exchange occurs.

Matching ventilation and perfusion rates is critical for basic lung function, and damage anywhere along the airway can lead to difficulty breathing in a number of ways.

Obstruction – decreased airflow

One form of lung disease is obstruction of airflow in and out of the body.

Two common causes of impairments like these are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. In these diseases, the airways become narrowed because of either damage from smoking, as is common in COPD, or allergic inflammation, as is common in asthma. In either case, patients experience difficulty blowing air out of their lungs.

Researchers have observed ongoing airflow obstruction in some patients who have recovered from COVID-19. This condition is typically treated with inhalers that deliver medications that open up the airways. Such treatments may also be helpful while recovering from COVID-19.

Restriction – reduced lung volume

Another form of lung disease is referred to as restriction, or difficulty expanding the lungs. Restriction decreases the volume of the lungs and, subsequently, the amount of air they can take in. Restriction often results from the formation of scar tissue, also called fibrosis, in the lungs due to injury.

Fibrosis thickens the walls of the alveoli, which makes gas exchange with the blood more difficult. This type of scarring can occur in chronic lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or as a result of severe lung damage in a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS.

Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to COVID-19 may be treated with a helmet that provides oxygen, reducing the need for intubation.Guillermo Legaria/Stringer via Getty Images News

ARDS can be caused by injuries originating in the lungs, like pneumonia, or severe disease in other organs, like pancreatitis. Around 25% of patients who recover from ARDS go on to develop restrictive lung disease.

Researchers have also found that patients who have recovered from COVID-19, especially those who had severe disease, can later develop restrictive lung disease. COVID-19 patients who require a ventilator may also have recovery rates similar to those who require a ventilator for other conditions. Long-term recovery of lung function in these patients is still unknown. Drugs treating fibrotic lung disease after COVID-19 are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Impaired perfusion – decreased blood flow

Finally, even when air flow and lung volume are unaffected, the lungs cannot complete their function if blood flow to the alveoli, where gas exchange occurs, is impaired.

COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk for blood clots. If blood clots travel to the lungs, they can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism that restricts blood flow to the lungs.

The alveoli of the lungs are where oxygen diffuses into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide diffuses out.ttsz/iStock via Getty Images Plus

In the long term, blood clots can also cause chronic problems with blood flow to the lungs, a condition called chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, or CTEPH. Only 0.5% to 3% of patients who develop a pulmonary embolism for reasons other than COVID-19 go on to develop this chronic problem. However, there is evidence that severe COVID-19 infections can damage the blood vessels of the lung directly and impair blood flow during recovery.

What’s next?

Lungs can work less optimally in these three general ways, and COVID-19 can lead to all of them. Researchers and clinicians are still figuring out ways to best treat the long-term lung damage seen in long COVID.

For clinicians, closely following up with patients who have recovered from COVID-19, particularly those with persistent symptoms, can lead to quicker diagnoses of long COVID. Severe cases of COVID-19 are associated with higher rates of long COVID. Other risk factors for development of long COVID include preexisting Type 2 diabetes, presence of virus particles in the blood after the initial infection and certain types of abnormal immune function.

For researchers, long COVID is an opportunity to study the underlying mechanisms of how different types of lung-related conditions that result from COVID-19 infection develop. Uncovering these mechanisms would allow researchers to develop targeted treatments to speed recovery and get more patients feeling and breathing like their pre-pandemic selves once again.

In the meantime, everyone can stay up to date on recommended vaccinations and use preventive measures such as good hand hygiene and masking when appropriate.

Jeffrey M. Sturek, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia and Alexandra Kadl, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Virginia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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