Stents have been the saviour for many cardiac patients experiencing chest pain. But a landmark study presented at the American Heart Association’s an
Stents have been the saviour for many cardiac patients experiencing chest pain. But a landmark study presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, suggests that inserting stents might be unnecessary in some of these cases. It points out that medication along with lifestyle changes may be enough for managing exercise-induced chest pain patients suffering from heart diseases.
What is exercise-induced chest pain?
Exercise increases our body’s oxygen requirement. Meeting this requirement during a workout session gets hard for heart patients at times, which causes chest pain. There are different types of heart diseases. Focus group of this study included patients with ischemic heart disease. In this condition the patients have plaque buildup in their coronary arteries which transport blood to the heart. Accumulation of plaque narrows the arteries down making it difficult for the arteries to pump blood, especially during an exercise. This causes chest pain and the condition is called angina. However, it subsides when the patients rest. In the medical fraternity, this is known as stable angina. Though this condition isn’t considered as a medical emergency, it requires a cardiologist’s attention for sure.
What does the new research say?
So far, doctors have been recommending stent procedure in case of exercise-induced chest pain caused by shortage of blood supply to the heart. This is because lack of blood supply to the cardiac muscles may lead to death. However, findings of the new study suggest that doctors need to rethink their approach as medications such as aspirin and drugs can treat these exercise-induced chest pains simply by managing high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that promotes plaque build-up. The study looked at 5,179 patients in 37 countries. The results showed that blood pressure drugs such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers taken for high cholesterol can work just as effectively. For this condition, the study also recommended lifestyle modifications like weight loss initiatives, cutting down saturated fat and quitting smoking.
Stent procedure and its complications
Inserting stent in the heart arteries or any other part of the body is a surgical procedure. It comes with all the complications of any surgical intervention. A slight slack or mistake by the doctor can prove to be dangerous. Moreover, the stent metal can also lead to an allergic reaction. Other complications associated with inserting a stent are internal bleeding, infection, breathing problems due to anesthesia, blood clots and re-narrowing of the artery.
Lifestyle modifications for exercise-induced chest pain
The cornerstone of managing exercise-induced chest pain is medication. However, as the new research already mentioned, lifestyle modification is also important in handling the condition. If you are a smoker, it is essential to join a smoking cessation programme as the link between this habit and coronary artery issues is well-established. Your body weight can be a significant contributing factor behind angina. Consult a nutritionist for proper dietary guidelines. She may advise reducing overall fat intake, and including a lot of fruits and vegetables in your meals among others.
Published : November 21, 2019 5:06 pm