Cardiovascular Healthcare - Universal Medical Travel
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Cardiovascular health refers to the health of the heart and blood vessels. The cardiovascular system relates to your heart and the blood vessels that move blood around your body. The blood pumped through your heart supplies vital oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. The cardiovascular system delivers oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other important substances to cells and organs in the body. It plays an important role in helping the body meet the demands of activity, exercise, and stress. Listed below are the functions of the cardiovascular system:

  • Removes the waste products of metabolism to the excretory organs for disposal
  • Provides cells with nutrients
  • Clotting stops bleeding after injury
  • Circulates OXYGEN and removes Carbon Dioxide
  • Protects the body against disease and infection

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) refers to a group of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels of your body. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2019, representing 32% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke. Here are some of the most common types of heart disease. 

  • Coronary artery disease: Damage or disease in the heart’s major blood vessels
  • High blood pressure: A condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high
  • Cardiac arrest: Sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness
  • Congestive heart failure: A chronic condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should
  • Arrhythmia: Improper beating of the heart, whether irregular, too fast, or too slow
  • Peripheral artery disease: A circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs
  • Stroke: Damage to the brain from interruption of its blood supply
  • Congenital heart disease: An abnormality in the heart that develops before birth

 Your healthcare provider can diagnose cardiovascular disease by performing a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms, personal health, and family health history. They may also order tests to help diagnose cardiovascular disease, as appropriate. Here are some common tests to diagnose cardiovascular disease: 

  • Stress tests: use different ways to stress the heart in a controlled way (exercise or medications) to determine how your heart responds through EKGs and/or images
  • Cardiac MRI: uses magnets and radio waves to create images of your heart
  • Blood work: measures substances in blood that indicate cardiovascular health, such as cholesterol and specific proteins
  • Cardiac CT: uses X-rays to create images of your heart and blood vessels
  • Echocardiogram: uses sound waves to create an image of your heartbeat and blood flow

It is important to detect cardiovascular disease as early as possible so that management with counselling and medicines can begin. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol. In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a set of health metrics, entitled “Life’s Simple 7,” which highlight seven evidence-based areas physicians should encourage their patients to focus on to obtain and maintain optimal levels of cardiovascular function. The American Heart Association developed a criterion called, “Life’s Simple 7” defining ideal cardiovascular health: not smoking, regular physical activity, healthy diet, maintaining normal weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. The clinical trials that tested the efficacy and relevance of the American Health Association’ s Simple 7 (physical activity, cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels, body mass, diet, and smoking) revealed a positive correlation between optimal use of their lifestyle management guideline and a reduced risk of heart failure and an overall improvement of cardiac function and structure, particularly for those who begin using the guide as early as middle age. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices. 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) symptoms depend on what specific type of heart disease you have. Some conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension, may initially cause no symptoms at all. Here are some symptoms of cardiovascular heart disease:

  • Pain, weakness, or numb legs and/or arms
  • Very fast or slow heartbeat, or palpitations
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Nausea and Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Swollen limbs
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
  • Cold sweats

Although these are some of the most common ones, CVD can cause symptoms anywhere in the body. There are also several underlying determinants of CVDs. These reflect the major forces driving social, economic, and cultural change – globalization, urbanization, and population ageing. Other determinants of CVDs include poverty, stress, and hereditary factors. Cardiologists recommend cardiovascular treatments to correct a range of different heart diseases, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life. Cardiovascular treatments can be life-saving procedures. The best treatment option for a person will depend on their specific type of cardiovascular disease. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, such as hospital admission, heart failure, stroke, heart attack, or death, and reduce the risk of the condition or disease recurring or getting worse. Cardiovascular disease treatment may include:

  • Medications: Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to control cardiovascular disease. Medication type will depend on what kind of cardiovascular disease you have
  • Active surveillance: Careful monitoring over time without medications or procedures/surgeries
  • Cardiac rehabilitation: A monitored exercise program that involves nutritional counseling and monitored exercise to help your heart get stronger

It is possible to manage some health conditions within CVD by making lifestyle changes, but some conditions may be life threatening and require emergency surgery. Listed below are some surgical operations that are required to treat cardiovascular diseases:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stent implantation. Coronary angioplasty is a procedure that helps to improve blood flow to your heart
  • Thrombolytic therapy
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) 
  • Artificial pacemaker surgery
  • Implantable Defibrillator
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Heart transplant surgery

Every year, 655,000 people in the United States die of heart disease. Almost half of adults in the U.S. have some form of cardiovascular disease. It affects people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels. The sooner you detect cardiovascular disease, the easier it is to treat.


Obtaining a doctor’s education to become a Cardiologist, Cardiovascular Surgeon or Cardiothoracic Surgeon requires a four-year undergraduate degree, then four years of medical school, and a five-year residency program. After the residency program is completed, a small group of the best candidates are selected from each medical program to participate in a fellowship training program. Fellowship training is a privilege that only top doctoral candidates are chosen to participate in to become a specialist or experts in their chosen field of medicine or surgery. Fellowship training is part of the process of becoming a specialist physician and requires an additional year or two of education. During fellowship training, a physician goes through rigorous training to become an expert in their subspecialty. The fellowship training program consists of practical experience which includes participation in numerous specialized surgeries which provides significant work experience the physician needs to become a specialist in his/her chosen field to receive their credentials. Physician’s that choose this path are committing to extra education and are devoted to providing the best medical care possible to patients. A Board-certified doctor indicates that a physician has achieved the highest level of accreditation within a given specialty. Board certification is a voluntary, additional step that a physician chooses to prove that they are trained in the latest technology and advancements in their specialty. Physicians are required to successfully pass written and oral board examinations in their specific specialty to verify knowledge, competency, and expertise in their specialty and/or subspecialty of medical practice. Most boards require that physicians recertify throughout their careers to ensure and promote ongoing professional development, practice assessment, and improvement. Choosing the right Cardiovascular physician depends on your needs. Always consider a candidate’s overall qualifications, experience, services offered, and patient satisfaction when choosing a physician. Always check for all necessary board-certified training and degrees, up to date certifications through an accredited healthcare institution and a valid license to practice through the respective state of their specialty or state/international medical board in their state or country. Look for a physician who has completed an accredited fellowship in a sub-specialty related to your condition or the surgery you have elected. Accreditation information, including fellowships and board certifications can usually be found on a physician’s official online profile. If it’s not, make sure that you request this information. When you, a family member, or friend needs a medical treatment, you want to make sure that you choose a highly qualified doctor who is dedicated to providing outstanding care. 

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