Heart disease, often a quiet but lethal medical condition, is today the leading cause of mortality across the globe. Awareness, timely diagnosis, and early intervention can significantly alter the trajectory of this disease, emphasizing the importance of recognizing its subtle signs, particularly those that manifest at night.
Unveiling Nocturnal Symptoms of Heart Disease
Dr. Niranjan Hiremath, a senior cardiovascular consultant, outlines seven lesser-known, nocturnal symptoms of heart disease. These include chest discomfort, often a precursor to angina or coronary artery disease, which could potentially precede a heart attack. Sleep apnea, a commonly overlooked condition, is strongly linked to heart disease, and can be diagnosed through a sleep study. Nocturnal sweating, often unexplained, can be a pointer towards heart disease. Frequent urination at night may suggest the presence of heart failure. Restless leg syndrome, particularly in women, has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Nocturnal breathlessness can be a symptom of heart failure or arrhythmias, and an elevated pulse rate at night might indicate issues with the heart's electrical system.
The Silent Threat of Sleep Disturbances
It is also essential to note the potential risks associated with sleep disturbances, particularly for women. Studies suggest that sleep quality during and after menopause may significantly impact a woman's risk for heart disease and stroke. Women experiencing sleep disturbances during this period scored worse on key measures of cardiovascular health, making it imperative to address such concerns.
Avoiding Habits Detrimental to Heart Health
While understanding these symptoms is vital, so is acknowledging the impact of certain lifestyle habits on our heart health. Negative habits such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, high stress levels, lack of sleep, neglecting health checkups, and ignoring mental health can all contribute to a deteriorating heart condition. Addressing these habits can significantly improve heart health, potentially saving lives.
Shining a Light on Cardiometabolic Diseases
On a related note, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis explored the relationship between exposure to light at night and cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs), including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and more. The study found a strong correlation between higher levels of night light exposure and a higher risk of CMDs, pointing to the importance of identifying modifiable risk factors for heart diseases and developing future prevention strategies.