Health Topic

Women have increasing risk for stroke and heart failure, even before menopause!

In Africa, special attention should be addressed to hereditary burden for acute myocardial infarction. Heart failure is the most common primary diagnosis in African female population.... now we have landed in Serbia, as we had a small interview with one of the world’s best cardiologists; Prof. Petar M. Seferovic; he was very generous to answer our questions.


As it’s Women Year in Egypt, what is the best prevention methods for women’s heart?

Cardiovascular disease is afflicting women, with increasing risk for stroke and heart failure, even before menopause. Risk factors such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, physical inactivity, tobacco use, overweight and obesity should be the target of preventive interventions. In Africa, special attention should be addressed to hereditary burden for acute myocardial infarction. Heart failure is the most common primary diagnosis in African female population. Women with a history of pre-eclampsia, gestational DM or pregnancy induced hypertension are at major risk. Healthy lifestyle, risk behaviour, reduced tobacco use and increased physical activity, intake of antioxidant supplements, better management of hypertension and dyslipidaemia are recommended. From the numerical point of view, total cholesterol should be < 5.2 mmol/l, blood pressure 120/80 mmHg, fasting blood glucose less than 5.6 mmol/l, body mass index less than 25 kg/m2. and moderate-intensity exercise 150 minutes per week.


What Is Atrial Fibrillation? & what is it’s causes?

Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia with 20.9 million of men and 12.6 million of women affected world-wide. It is characterized by rapid and irregular beating. Greater prevalence is proven in older persons, in patients with hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, or chronic kidney disease. Genetic predisposition, thyroid dysfunction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, smoking, alcohol consumption and habitual vigorous exercise are also risk factors.

In patients with atrial fibrillation, increased cardiovascular mortality due to sudden death, heart failure and stroke has been demonstrated. Around 20–30% of patients with an ischaemic stroke have atrial fibrillation diagnosed before. In addition, atrial fibrillation is associated with increased rate of hospitalizations, impaired quality of life, left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure, as well as with cognitive decline and vascular dementia.


Can someone die from a heart valve defect?

Prevalence of heart valve defects is increasing in elderly population and patients can die from severe valvular defects. Valve defects may develop due to age-related progressive calcification, degenerative aortic stenosis. Rheumatic fever was the main cause of mitral stenosis. Acute myocardial infarction can cause papillary muscle rupture, a dangerous mechanical complication leading to dysfunction of mitral valve. Heart valve can also be affected by bacterial infection which progressively destroys it and leads to life-treatening complications, such as congestive heart failure, arrhythmia and infection dissemination. Beside wide-spectrum antibiotics, this condition, called infective endocarditis, represents one of the most complex and challenging conditions, even for experienced cardiologists. Severe valve defects are surgically treated.


What motivated you to come to Egypt & share your knowledge with Egyptian physicians?

CardioAlex is a scientific and clinical event with very good reputation in the field of cardiology, it represents synthetic approach to the recent and most important achivements. It is exceptional meeting which gives the opportunity to exchange experience with colleagues worldwide, as this congress is gathering experts from Asia, Europe, USA and Africa. Challenging cases, live sessions, attractive topics and discussions make this congress educational, dinamyc and interactive.


What is your advice for the Egyptian young physicians?

Young physicians should be aware that a cardiologist is travelling on a long-lasting journey of continuous medical education. Science never stops to develop, and successfull doctors are those well-informed, curiose, ready to develop skills and make scientific contribution at each step of their proffessional improvement. One step forward is taking part in such interactive educational congresses such as CardioAlex. Our young colleagues are invited to submit abstracts and interesting cases for Junior CardioAlex Award. What they learn today, they may implement in daily practice, tomorrow.


What is new in your topic this year?

Heart failure is essential part of cardiology practise and we are excited to see the innovations that can reduce mortality and improve outcome in heart failure patients. We will see the results of RELAX-AHF-2 trial, which assessed the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of serelaxin when added to standard care in patients with acute heart failure. In addition, ongoing trial with ARNI in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction will clarify, possibly spread the indicational field for this new drug.

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