Sunday, February 13, 2011 10:25

Stroke and other Peripheral Diseases
Atherosclerosis also occurs in other arteries in cerebral area and femoral arteries, but clinically there are some other associated factors that are also responsible for stroke and peripheral artery disease. These associated factors for strokes are high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and high intake of alcohol. So, for the prevention of stroke one has to once again take all precautions to control hypertension or blood pressure. All lifestyle measures like weight maintenance restricted salt, low saturated fats and exercise schedule has to be adhered to. Lot of studies has shown that consumption of fruits and green vegetables is preventive for hypertension. Similarly, for peripheral disease also smoking is the most important risk factor.

Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Failure
Cardiomyopathy is a hypertrophy or dilatation of cardiac muscle fibres resulting in disorder of cardiac function (congestive heart failure). Occasionally these conditions occur as a result of certain nutrient deficiencies. The two classical examples are beri-beri resulting from thiamine deficiency and Keshan is due to selenium deficiency, in both these conditions replacing thiamine and selenium helps in prevention and treatment. In few cases alcohol also has a role to play in these deficiencies, when taken in excess amounts. Sometimes, anemia when the hemoglobin goes very low can also result in cardiac failure.

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD)
The leading cause of morbidity and mortality in India especially in children of age group 5-15 years comprises disease like pharyngitis and rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic fever occurs due to the streptococcal infections, which can result in rheumatic heart disease. There is inflammation of the pericardium (thin layer covering heart) known as carditis. Carditis can further lead to congestive cardiac failure. Chronic rheumatic heart disease is the major etiological factor for valvular heart disease in India (where the heart valves get affected). The best possible prevention of RHD is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of streptococcal pharyngitis in children.

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