The most common heart disease




Myocardial infarction is an ischemic heart disease. It occurs due to insufficient blood supply to the tissue, ie as a consequence of the coronary artery being blocked by a blood clot or a broken part of the atherosclerotic plaque that coats the blood vessels due to unhealthy living.

Myocardial infarction, in fact, represents the death of the heart muscle, and is caused by a complete blockage of the artery that allows blood to flow into the heart muscle. Since the flow is interrupted, the inflow is small.

Symptoms: Patients who notice that they have “typical chest pain” such as tightness, burning, burning and do not react to nitroglycerin, experts advise to call the emergency service first of all. This is the official recommendation of the World Health Organization and the Association of Cardiologists, because today the heart attack is treated with the most modern methods, so that the ambulance service transports it directly to the catheterization room, where doctors mechanically open the passage into the vein. In this case, time plays a crucial role. If the patient reports within the first hour, it usually has no consequences and has a good prognosis.




In just one year, about 1,500 heart valve surgeries were performed in Serbia.

The heart valves function on the principle of four valves that alternately open and close inside one pump (heart muscle). By opening and closing, they regulate the direction of blood flow through the heart and prevent the return of blood in an unwanted direction. When these valves open and close adequately, which is assessed by ultrasound examinations of the heart, it is considered that the heart valves function normally. Over time, the valves of the heart can be damaged, which makes the valves more difficult to open (stenosis) or not close completely (insufficiency). The aortic and mitral valves are most often damaged. If there is narrowing (stenosis), the valve cannot open and the heart struggles to pump blood. And if the valve (insufficiency) relaxes, the blood returns in the unwanted direction and the heart struggles to pump out an increased amount of blood.

Symptoms and consequences: Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue, water in the lungs and arrhythmias. Rhythm disorders can cause blood clots to form in the heart cavities, which can lead to the mobilization of blood clots into the circulation.

As a result of valve disease, the heart muscle wears out. Namely, if there is a narrowing (stenosis), the heart loses strength over time, because the valve is so narrowed that it cannot open and the heart practically struggles to pump blood due to the existence of an obstacle. If there is a relaxation of the valve (insufficiency), the blood returns in the unwanted direction, and in the case of returning the blood, the heart struggles to pump out an increased amount of blood.

The first examinations are performed by a cardiologist and include a clinical examination and an ultrasound of the heart, after which the method of treatment is decided. When surgery is found to be necessary, it is recommended that surgery be done as soon as possible. Modern trends in cardiac surgery require that each valve be repaired if possible. Valve repair means that the diseased valve is restored by surgical techniques and brought to an optimal condition. After valve repair, the patient recovers faster and the quality of life is excellent. Another option is to replace the diseased valve. If an artificial valve is implanted, it is necessary to take anticoagulant therapy for blood thinning for life.




Angina pectoris is the most common manifestation of chronic ischemic heart disease. Cardiac muscle ischemia most often occurs due to an imbalance in the need and supply of blood to the heart. The main symptom of ischemic myocardium is anginal pain.

The most common cause of ischemic disease is the atherosclerotic process in the coronary arteries. It is estimated that 90 percent of patients have this process as their primary disease factor. Atherosclerosis leads to mechanical narrowing of the lumen of the coronary blood vessel and thus impedes normal blood flow. It occurs in the process of aging of the organism and with age, its prevalence and frequency increase. Some processes and conditions lead to potentiation and acceleration of atherosclerosis, such as arterial hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cholesterol levels, and thus contribute to the development of ischemic heart disease. Genetics is also an important factor in the process of atherosclerosis. As a consequence of all the above, there is an insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle, and thus a lack of nutrients and oxygen, which reach the heart through the blood.

Symptoms and consequences: In order to compensate for the lack of blood flow, the heart increases the heart rate, and thus enters a vicious circle, because at the same time the energy necessary for the normal functioning of the blood is consumed. In ischemic disease, there is an increased metabolism in the heart and the breakdown products begin to accumulate, so that their acidic action acts on the nerve cells, which present this process to the brain as an alarm, a sensation described as anginal pain. When the effort or the trigger of anginal pain acts long enough, and the pain itself lasts more than 30 minutes, there is a high probability that that part of the muscle will die out (an irreversible process) until a sufficient amount of blood can reach it. This is manifested by tissue necrosis, and the formation of a scar on the heart, which becomes a non-functional part of the myocardium (it cannot have a contractile function), and is clinically described as a myocardial infarction. Depending on how many arteries have been affected by a heart attack, the size of the heart damage also depends. In case one of the large arteries is affected by a heart attack, the person has a hard time surviving the heart attack. If the medicine is taken in time, which will restore normal circulation, with the establishment of circulation, all changes are withdrawn. In other cases, the person becomes disabled, whose physical activities are limited, and each subsequent heart attack can lead to a fatal outcome.




The continuous work of the heart is enabled by the constant creation of stimuli in the part of the right atrium of the heart called the sinus node. The stimulus spreads from that place through the atria, a special muscle bundle of fibers called His bundle, all the way to the heart muscle cells of the left and right ventricles.

These electrical impulses generated in the heart allow the heart to work in the form of convulsions (systole) or relaxation of the heart (diastole) 60-80 times per minute. Accelerated heart rate over 100 beats per minute is called sinus tachycardia and is most often the result of extracardiac factors: physical exertion, mental tension, fever, increased thyroid activity, excessive intake of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine.

Slowed heart rate below 50 beats per minute is called sinus bradycardia and is most often the result of good physical training, reduced thyroid function, jaundice, aging and the effects of some drugs (digitalis, beta-blockers, verapamil, diltiazem, etc.).

Symptoms and consequences: Cardiac arrhythmias occur due to disorders in the creation or conduction of stimuli in the heart or both disorders at the same time. The causes that lead to cardiac arrhythmias can be divided into three groups: heart disease, diseases of other organs and general disorders. Heart diseases are: coronary heart disease (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction), inflammatory processes in the heart, heart muscle weakness, heart defects, etc.

Diseases of other organs are: diseases of the lungs, diseases of the central nervous system, diseases of the kidneys, diseases of the endocrine glands (most often the thyroid gland) and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. General disorders are various infections and toxic conditions, loss of minerals or fluids from the body, the effects of some drugs, especially digitalis, diuretics and some drugs for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias (Quinidine, Flecainide, etc.).

The significance of cardiac arrhythmias is twofold. First, they can reduce heart rate by up to 30 percent. This refers to cardiac arrhythmias with accelerated heart rate. Second, they can cause sudden cardiac death in the event of ventricular fibrillation (ventricular fibrillation). The diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias is made on the basis of clinical examination of the patient, ECG, echocardiogram, 24-hour ECG observation (Holter ECG), stress tests and possibly electrophysiological examination of the heart and coronary angiography.




Unfortunately, congenital heart anomalies cannot be affected by proper nutrition, nor can they be completely cured with medication. They usually occur in the first trimester of pregnancy, if the mother has an infection that affects it, and they can occur later.

They are most often treated surgically, or if they are milder, that is, if they are located on the right part of the heart where the pressures are lower, it is possible to live with them.