June 1, 2023

The Department of Health-Cordillera and its partners remind the public once again to take good care of their heart by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and to consult doctors if feeling symptoms of cardiovascular diseases.  
Dr. Carlo Dominick Pangwi, invasive cardiologist and medical officer IV of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, said based on the 2020 and 2021 Philippine data, heart disease, particularly Ischaemic heart disease, remains the number one cause of death in the country even with the presence of Covid-19.
Ischaemic heart disease leads to myocardial infection or heart attack caused by coronary artery problems that prevent or block the proper delivery of blood in and out of the heart that will help it to function properly.
The threat of heart disease or having heart attack now involves both men and women, based on the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital data.
The common risk factors are diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight, smoking (including vaping), high cholesterol, and genetics, Pangwi said.
Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, people must always listen to their heart and body and always prioritize medical consultations, especially when heart or cardiovascular disease symptoms persist, he added.
For the warning signs, men usually feel chest pains, rapid or irregular heartbeat, feeling dizzy, faint or light headed, breaking out in a cold sweat and shortness of breath.
For women, they usually feel chest pressure; unusual fatigue for several days; anxiety and sleep disturbance; back, neck, arm or jaw pain; nausea, feeling sick to  stomach, and shortness of breath.
Saving a life is a choice and for your life. It is your choice. In terms of heart disease, it is time- sensitive that need early consultations, Pangwi said.
He said a cath laboratory is now available at the BGHMC. It is equipped with a special imaging equipment to see the arteries and check how well blood is flowing to and from the heart which will help diagnose and treat blockages and other problems in the (heart) arteries.
With modern technology, blocked arteries can now be better treated with coronary angioplasty than the usual taking up medication that can give side effects.
Another hospital in Baguio City with a cath laboratory is the Notre Dame De Chartres Hospital.
Dr. Alexei Marrero of DOH-Cordillera said along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes having a healthy diet, enough rest and sleep and adequate exercise, consistency and discipline also help in maintaining a healthy heart. – Carlito Dar