Pericardial effusion is extra fluid around the heart.
Pericardial effusion is extra fluid inside the sac that surrounds the heart. The extra fluid causes pressure on the heart, which stops it from pumping blood normally. Lymph vessels may also be blocked, which often causes bacterial or viral infections. If fluid builds up quickly, a condition called cardiac tamponade may occur. In cardiac tamponade, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body. This is life-threatening and must...
Atherosclerosis is common, unpredictable, and potentially deadly. Is there
any good news? Because atherosclerosis takes decades to progress, the process
can be slowed down at any point, reducing the risk.
Regardless of your age, there are specific steps you can take to slow down
atherosclerosis. Take a moment to consider what changes you can make today, to
protect your arteries later.
Preventing Atherosclerosis: In Your 20s and 30s
Almost no one develops complications from atherosclerosis at this age.
Still, studies show the process has begun by our 20s or even younger. In these
studies, risk factors mattered: young people with obesity, high blood pressure,
high cholesterol, or who smoked had more-advanced early atherosclerosis.
The American Heart Association recommends seeing your doctor beginning at
age 20 to routinely assess your risk for heart disease.
Instead of treating atherosclerosis, the key here is developing good habits
that will last a lifetime. Don't force it; instead, try to imagine how better
habits might fit into your life.
Exercise: Make it a hobby to find some physical activity you enjoy.
The idea of sticking to a boring, unpleasant exercise schedule for the next 40
years would send anyone to the couch. Experiment with different activities
until you find something you like. If you get sick of that, try something
Diet: Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables daily is
effective at preventing heart disease. Make it a habit to try something
different in the produce aisle each time you hit the supermarket.
Preventing Atherosclerosis: In Your 40s and 50s
The rate of developing atherosclerosis accelerates in middle age, and so
should your approach to reducing the risk.
Risk factors (high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, obesity,
and smoking) become extremely important through these years. Everyone should
see a doctor sometime soon after turning 40. He or she can assess your risk
factors and provide a treatment plan.