By Dr. Atef bin Youssef, Open Heart and Vascular Surgery Consultant at Al-Ahli Hospital / Qatar
Everyone should have regular heart checks. A large portion of people do not recognize that they are at risk of having a heart attack, says Dr. Atef.
Dr. Atef bin Youssef, a consultant cardiovascular surgeon, together with the medical team at Al-Ahli Hospital’s Cardiac Department, performed an aortic bypass surgery operation for a 61-year-old man.
In this context, Dr. Atef bin Youssef said: “This operation was successful, praise be to God, despite the severe blockage in the main artery of the heart, which reached 90%. “Despite the healthy lifestyle of the patient and despite being free of diseases, especially chronic ones which affect heart patients, the work pressure and stress were the main reasons behind the heart attack experienced by the patient in 2012, and behind the recurrence of blockage of the main arteries” he explained. “The patient almost felt no symptoms until he discovered, during a periodic examination at work, that he suffers from blockage. Heart patients with psychological and emotional stress are 3 times more susceptible to developing heart attack than their peers who don’t suffer from similar stresses”, he added. It is widely known that a deteriorating psychological state plays a clear role in affecting the health of the bodies, as it has a strong impact on them. Dr. Atef also added “Psychological stress can cause blood vessels to constrict, raise blood pressure, increase the number of heartbeats, and thus increase the heart’s need for oxygen. This, in turn, leads to reduction of the blood flowing into the heart muscle; a medical condition known as “myocardial retention”.
Dr. Atef bin Yusef pointed out that there are indications that those who are exposed to work pressures and depression and those who are irritable and easily anxious, are more likely than others to suffer from cardiovascular disease.
He also stressed the need for having periodic heart checks, as many patients may not feel any symptoms of a blockage in the arteries or the possibility of suffering a heart attack.