Prevention and the practical aspects related to it have been at the center of two episodes of this journey into well-being together with Giuseppe Berton, Cardiology doctor of Conegliano and founder-president of the research pole “The ABC study on heart disease Association-Foundation-ONLUS”, based in the De Gironcoli hospital in Conegliano. This research group has been studying heart disease since 1992, and carries out a research project of the Veneto Region on the relationship between coronary heart disease and tumors.
The results, gradually achieved, were published and presented internationally, including at the American Heart Association congress. In addition to Conegliano, this research group includes the hospitals of Adria, Bassano del Grappa, and Padua, where the cardiologists Rocco Cordialo, Rosa Palmieri and Fiorella Cavuto are co-responsible for the project..
If in the first episode the concept of prevention in general was analyzed (here the article), in the second episode the importance of not neglecting any type of inflammation (here the article) was emphasized: as we proceed in this travel, Dr. Berton will go more specifically on the concepts and practical rules to be implemented in everyday life.
This time the doctor’s attention is entirely focused on the issue of the circulation and coronaries: as the cardiologist explained, first of all it must be borne in mind that the blood circulation as a whole is made up of arteries, veins and heart. Their “good function” is crucial for both circulatory and vital organ functions. The entire circulation is internally lined with a thin membrane called the endothelium, that is a sort of thin filter that is actually a real organ “alive and full of functions”, capable of secreting hormones and substances. The alteration of the endothelium, especially of the arteries, is essentially the beginning of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease which manifests itself in multiple ways, especially with angina pectoris and heart attack.
In this regard, there is an albuminuria test, which is easy and can be performed on prescription from the family doctor, or a urine test where the quantity of albumin passed through the endothelium and excreted by the kidney in the urine is measured: if the level is low then the circulation is in good health, otherwise the detected quantity is associated with vascular damage. The higher it is, the greater the future risk of cardiovascular events, such as (but not limited to) heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
In practical terms, Dr. Berton explained that the loss of this protein through the endothelial wall is comparable to a wall of the house that has damp spots: if they are left where they are and not removed, the situation of the “home” is doomed to get worse. The ABC study on heart disease, studied the health status of 798 patients in the ten years following the heart attack and found that only 20% of patients were found to be completely healthy, while the others were shown to have had complications or death during follow up.
“This makes us understand that after heart attack you have to be careful“, Continues the cardiologist, adding that it is possible to do this in many ways, both by treating the well-known risk factors such as arterial hypertension, diabetes, smoking, but it is also of considerable importance to keep the level of albuminuria controlled and lowhere, therefore, that the examination of this protein is an effective prevention tool.
“The heart attack – explains Dr. Berton – derives from the acute occlusion of a coronary artery, but is also associated with a general dysfunction, even inflammatory affecting the entire blood circulation”.
Ma not only are medical examinations a form of prevention, but a whole series of “preventive attitudes” are useful: they also include diet and physical activity and will be gradually deepened in the course of the next episodes.
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