We commonly assume that cardiac disease will affect either a elderly neighbour or a food loving friend. These false assumptions can be dangerous to your heart, But you can boost your heart by separating fact from fiction.  Some common myths are here for rectification

Myth: High blood pressure has warning signs

Fact: Big no!!.high blood pressure is known as “silent killer “ . You may never experience a symptoms. so it is wiseful not to   wait for warning signals & have a regular check on your blood pressure  Early treatment of high blood pressure is important because, if left untreated, it can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, eye problems and other serious health problems

Myth: stop the medicine when blood pressure is normal

Fact:– No, you should not !  it is in the same way that wearing a specks correct your eyesight .your BP is normal with the medicine, stopping antihypertensive by yourself  may lead to  sudden rebound increase in BP and that may lead to brain haemorrhage, nose bleeding, eye problems etc

Myth: If I’m having a heart attack,I’ ll have chest pain.

Fact : Not necessarily. Although it’s common to have chest pain or discomfort, Heart attack can present as shortness of breath, nausea  ,acidity, feeling lightheaded, and pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck or back, diabetic patients it is more common to have a heart attack without pain .

Myth: No need of cholesterol check until middle-aged.

Fact : The AHA recommends that one should start getting  cholesterol check every 5 years starting at age 20. It’s a good idea to start having a cholesterol test even earlier if your family has a history of heart children in these families can have high cholesterol levels, putting them at increased risk for developing heart disease as adults. disease. Children in these families can have high cholesterol levels, putting them at increased risk for developing heart disease as adults.

Myth : Heart failure means the heart stops beating.

Fact: The heart suddenly stops beating during cardiac arrest. In heart failure, the heart keeps working, but it doesn’t pump blood with it’s full capacity. It can cause shortness of breath, swelling in the feet and ankles or persistent coughing and wheezing. During cardiac arrest, a person loses consciousness and stops normal breathing

Myth: Leg pain is a sign of aging or calcium deficiency , it has nothing to do with my heart.

Fact: Leg pain felt in the muscles could be a sign of a condition called peripheral artery disease(PAD). PAD results from blocked arteries in the legs caused by plaque buildup. The risk of heart attack increases drastically for people with PAD

Myth: diabetes has no risk for heart disease  , if it is well control with medication.

Fact:  well controlled diabetes help in  reducing the  risk or delay the development of cardiovascular diseases. But even when blood sugar levels are under control ,there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, That’s because the most of the risk factors for diabetes & cardiovascular disease& are same. These overlapping risk factors  include high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and smoking.
Myth:  Avoid exercise after having a heart attack

Fact: No! As soon as possible, start excercise with a plan approved for you by your cardiologist. Research shows that heart attack survivors who are regularly physically active and make other heart healthy changes live longer than those who don’t. The AHA recommends at least thirty to forty-five minutes five day in a week

Myth: Fast heart beating is warning sign of having a heart attack.

Fact: Some variation in your heart rate is normal. Your heart rate speeds up during exercise or when you get excited, and slows down when you’re sleeping. Most of the time, a change in your heartbeat  is nothing to worry about. But sometimes, it can be a sign of arrhythmia, an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some need treatment with a cardiologist.

Myth: no way to prevent a heart disease ,if there is a family history

Fact: Although people with a family history of heart disease are at a higher risk, but you can take steps to dramatically reduce your risk. Get your cardiac screening tests done at age of 20 years regular exercise, cholesterol control, healthy diet,  blood pressure & blood sugar control; maintain a healthy weight ; and stop smoking reduces the risk significantly
Myth: In young age, there is no need to worry about heart disease

Fact: How you live in your young age, affects your risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. As early as childhood and adolescence, plaque can start accumulating in the arteries and later lead to clogged arteries & heart attack. Even young and middle-aged people can develop heart problems – especially now when  smoking, obesity ,diabetes, sedentary life style like risk factors becoming more common at a younger age.

Myth: Angioplasty and by-pass surgery can be avoided with Non surgical methods(EECP)

Fact: – Its other way round. US FDA recommend EECP (External Enhanced Counter Pulsation) in only cases who cannot be manage by Angioplasty or By-pass surgery. EECP only increases collateral blood flow that can maintain circulation only at rest , active life needs more blood flow in heart and that cannot be achieved with this therapy.

Myth : I have calcified arteries so Byepass is the only option left !

Fact : no ! with the help of device known as Rotational Atherectomy (a sort of drill used for drilling well) you can avoid Byepass surgery in selected cases and that too via small nick & as a day care procedure.

Myth : I have hole in my heart  & surgery is the only option left!

Fact : it all depend on type & position of hole & most of them can be treated without surgery via devices that too via small  incision & day care procedure



Dr. Rudra Dev Pandey
Dr. Rudra Dev Pandey

Senior Consultant - Cardiology
Department of Cardiac Sciences