Q & A

January 01, 2014
A severe ailment like heart disease is always a cause for concern to patients and their families. In this issue of Better Health, we answer some questions on its characteristics, prevention, and how to recover from this unsettling disease.

Q: Is it true that contraceptive pills increase the risk of heart disease?

A: Estrogens in contraceptive pills can increase risks of blood clot, which consequently heightens the chance of myocardial infarction. However, the risk also has to take account of other factors such as age, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obesity and smoking habits. ้
Dr. Pansak Sugkraroek

If you are aware of your own risks for heart disease, for example frequent blood clots, hypertension, inflamed veins, or if you already are suffering from certain kinds of heart disease such as valvular heart disease or coronary artery disease, you should seek guidance from the doctor as there are new contraceptive pills that use other hormones, which are free of risk for blood clot. If all the above risk factors are not present, the use of contraceptive pills with estrogen is considered fairly safe.

Q: What is cardiomegaly? Is it dangerous?

A: Cardiomegaly is a condition found along with various diseases including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, valvular heart disease, hypertension and thyrotoxicosis. The condition will make the heart work harder with less efficiency.
Dr. Chaianan Chaiyamanon

The common symptoms are shortness of breath, becoming easily exhausted, intense coughing at night, palpitation and swollen legs. In some cases where there are no apparent symptoms, doctors will use echocardiography to ascertain cardiomegaly and its causes, and will decide on its severity and the cure after checking the patient’s medical history and other conditions.

Q: What is cardiac rehabilitation and who needs it?

A: Cardiac rehabilitation is a process continued after patients receive proper care for heart disease and have the condition under control. The rehabilitation will help some patients who are yet to fully recover to regain their confidence and living quality, and reduce the risk for a repeat of the illness.
Dr. Tanaporn Laprattanagul

A cardiac rehabilitation program usually includes advice on changes in lifestyle physical assessment, and appropriate exercises for each patient. The program is a cooperation of medical staff from various specialties such as cardiologist, cardiac rehabilitation physiatrist, dietitian, and physical therapist to ensure every aspectof the patient’s care. It is a program suitable for patients of every heart disease.

Have a question? You can submit your question for possible inclusion in future issues of Better Health, by e-mail [email protected] or by mail to Editor, Better Health Magazine, Bumrungrad International Hospital, 33 Sukhumvit 3, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.

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