Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease or CVD, is the leading cause of death in Australia, contributing to almost 19,000 deaths in 2017. While this may seem alarming, it is important to note that there are treatment options available.
Heart disease is the general name given to conditions that affect the heart. These include coronary heart disease, arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm), and heart defects.
Heart disease is generally a chronic condition. In most cases, however, there are benefits to be had from treatment to minimise damage, relieve or manage symptoms, and reduce your risk of future heart problems.
Depending on the cause and symptoms of your heart disease, your doctor may prescribe medicines to help to treat the effects of heart disease and help to prevent future cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
Some of the options include
- Daily, low-dose aspirin
- ACE inhibitors
Bypass surgery may be an option to help improve the blood flow to your heart. For this surgery, blood vessels are taken from another part of your body and grafted onto your main heart artery (coronary artery).
Some apparatuses can be implanted into your heart and main heart arteries to improve blood flow or monitor your heart activity.
Angioplasties and stent implantations are operations to help to improve blood flow to the heart. By inserting a tube into one of the main arteries leading to your heart it works to keep the artery from collapsing or closing in on itself.
Cardiac defibrillators are often used when you have an irregular heartbeat as the result of a heart condition. They monitor and correct your heartbeat to keep it regular based on your body’s needs.
In addition to these surgical and pharmacological interventions, your doctor will likely recommend that you make important lifestyle changes. Some of these might include eating a balanced diet low in saturated fat and engaging in regular physical activity to lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Discuss your options with your doctor. There are various treatment options to respond to potential damage already caused by CVD. With the right support, you should be able to reduce your risk of further damage.
Written by Sasha A.
With a B.A. in Anthropology and a Master of Science, Sasha shares her knowledge in articles about food, nutrition, health, and fitness.
 Heart Research Australia. What is Heart Disease. 2017
 Health Direct. Coronary heart disease treatment. 2020-01
 NPS MedicineWise. Heart disease and stroke risk – what can be done? 2017-06-20
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.