Cardiovascular disease is one of the major health issue encountered by the older population worldwide. Coronary heart disease can cause death of a particular section of cardiac muscle due to restricted oxygen supply. Artery blockage can hinder the blood flow in the cardiac muscles, which can even permanently damage the cardiac muscles and heart as well. The coronary artery disease is the medical term for the heart disease leading to angina (Pheng et al.,2017). Angina is one of the elemental reasons for pulmonary issues in older population which is called heart attack or myocardial infarction generally. Worldwide, around 17.1 million population contract with the disease (Pheng et al.,2017). The disease is broadly categorized as primary and secondary coronary heart disease. The common signs and symptoms of Heartattack includes burning chest pain, shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness, variation in mental state, uneven heartbeat, and so on. The slight chest pain while exercising is another important symptom for heartattack in older patients and during this state, they must consult their doctor in order to take medication on time. This can minimize the future harm to them by reducing care gaps (Pheng et al.,2017). The physician can take electrocardiogram or chest X-ray to detect the presence of coronary artery disease. This can evaluate the inner picture of the heart defining heart failure, heart muscle thickening, or any problem related to heart valve. Cardiac diseases can state most of the natural causes of deaths also, the prevalence of disease is equal in men and women however, men are more sensitive to disease than women.
In Australia, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of deaths followed by cancer and other infections. The number is rising in Australia, as every year around 1 in 7 aged 65 or above, contributing to the overall geriatric population (AIHW,2020). The prevalence of the disease can be calculated in terms of burden index in which coronary heart disease (heart attack) is accounting a large proportion. According to the Australian government statistics, coronary heart disease in men with more than 65 years of age accounts a total of 14% in the burden index. While, females with coronary heart disease contribute a total of 10.9% in the overall burden index (AIHW,2020). In Australia, around 43% of around 19,100 total deaths in 2016 occurred due to heartattack and the death rate was more linked with people aged 45 and above. Around 40% of the overall cardiovascular deaths in Australia are a consequence of heartattack. The increased prevalence of the disease is associated with the blood pressure leading to unstable heart beats and angina (Maharani et al.,2019). Other clinical illness like diabetes and stroke is adding to the rising prevalence of heartattack which can be controlled by following timely medication.
The older population is generally sensitive to cardiovascular diseases like heartattack. The disease is a potential reason for disability in older people, which decreases quality of life by limiting their everyday activities. Age is the elemental risk factor in geriatric population leading to cardiovascular diseases. Age related changes can increase fat deposition in arteries which restricts the blood supply to cardiac muscles, leading to heartattack. The other clinical change with age is atherosclerosis, causing stiffness in heart muscles leading to high blood pressure. Increased blood pressure decrease the oxygen supply creating risk for heartattack (Hoare et al.,2017). However, there are other factors linked with the disease and include hypertension, diabetes and obesity, and diabetes. Obesity is related with the modern changing life style, adding to the more consumption of fat everyday. Lack of physical exercise, wrong eating habits can increase the damage to the arteries, which can easily be controlled by following a proper healthy diet plan (Rehan et al.,2016). Smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse are other major risk factor among older population causing erosion of the artery walls and thus contributing to the coronary heart disease. Sex factor contributes equally with the prevalence of disease however, men contribute more to the disease than females. Changes in the hormones with aging are a natural process which can also increase damage to the cardiac arteries. Stroke is also linked with the long term cardiac disabilities and significant indicator of mortality. It is associated with the reduced physical abilities, affecting quality of life as well (Hoare et al.,2017).
To minimize the prevalence of the heartattack among older population, Australian government have initiated several policies and initiatives which aims to solve the significant burden of the associated risk factor. The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases can be minimized by following healthy eating habits. The diet plan must include fruits and vegetables, containing higher proportion of minerals, ions, antioxidants, reducing the harm to the arteries and heart muscles as well (Kaptoge et al.,2019). Proper physical exercise will control the blood pressure that helps to prevent the cardiac disease. Unawareness and lack of education are the prime issues among geriatric population creating a broader space for long term illness. The policies focus to engage the population by delivering the awareness regarding the heartattack and its associated risk factors. It is important to understand that apart from natural demographic factors like gender, age, and medical health issues, area of residence id an essential component to be covered during awareness. National Heart Foundation of Australia have initiated an online platform to keep track on the number of patients of age 65 or above, associated with heart attack during 2015 and has been in practice since 2009. All the generated data is updated and maintained on the online portal (Pheng et al.,2017). This initiative will evaluate the understanding of the disease and associated risk factors. Australian government has started around 100 million pharmaceutical schemes in 2015 which benefitted to the large proportion of older Australian population including weaker sections of society as well (AG, 2017). The government cannot achieve the global target for disease prevention without engaging and understanding the general population.
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AIHW. (2020). Older Australia at a glance. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/health-functioning/burden-of-disease
Hoare, E., Stavreski, B., Kingwell, B. A., & Jennings, G. L. (2017). Australian adults’ behaviours, knowledge and perceptions of risk factors for heart disease: A cross-sectional study. Preventive Medicine Reports, 8(4), 204–209.
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Maharani, A., Sujarwoto, Praveen, D., Oceandy, D., Tampubolon, G., & Patel, A. (2019). Cardiovascular disease risk factor prevalence and estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk scores in Indonesia: The smart health extend study. PLOS ONE, 14(4), 1-13.
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Pheng, T.S., Qing, M.S.Z., Kee, H.W., &Tahir, M. (2017). A review on prevalence, causes, preventions, and treatments of coronary artery disease. Asian Pacific Journal of Health Sciences, 4(4),104-107.
Rehan, F., Qadeer, A., Bashir, I., & Jamshaid, M. (2016). Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Countries. International Current Pharmaceutical Journal, 5(8), 69–72.
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