Ischemic heart disease and congenital coronary illness

healthy life
Adopt a healthy lifestyle with proper eating and routine medium-intensity exercise, for at least 150 minutes a week to avoid the risk of getting a heart attack. (IO/Muhammad Hidayat)

“80,000 babies are born with congenital coronary illness every year. One in every four of these babies are critical congenital coronary illness patients who require immediate intervention. Early identification of symptoms and signs can accelerate necessary referral, and will also help with the accuracy of necessary treatments. However, such filtering for congenital coronary illness is best done when preparing for pregnancy,” dr. Oktavia said. Identification consists of the following risk factors: having a family history of congenital coronary illness; a history of rubella, cytomegalovirus, or toxoplasma infections in the household; mother suffering from diabetes mellitus; either parent consuming specific medications; or either parent having a tobacco or alcohol habit. 

Filtering can also be performed during pregnancy by having the mother undergo antenatal ultrasonography (USG) checks, to ascertain whether the fetus’ heart is malformed or not. “Congenital coronary illness checks in pregnant mothers are performed during the first 18-26 weeks of pregnancy. We also need to perform further filtering on newborn babies to identify critical congenital coronary illness, using pulse oximeters. This will yield optimum benefits when the baby is at most 24 hours old, or before they leave the health facility. Congenital heart problem therapies include medication, surgical and non-surgical intervention. The latter has the benefits of minimal scarring, a lower mortality rate, a lower cost, and shorter treatment duration,” dr. Oktavia said. 

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At the same event, dr. Siska Suridanda Danny, Sp.JP(K), an Intensive Care and Cardiovascular Emergency Medical Staff in the University of Indonesia Faculty of Medicine, declared that even though the risk and incidence of coronary disease is related to aging, the risk of getting a heart attack at a younger age has increased. “I have even come across a 25-yearold heart attack patient! They’re generally caused by the blockage of coronary blood vessels, or the ones leading to the heart. Assistance must be provided within 12 hours of an attack, because the longer you wait, the more extensive is the damage to your heart muscles,” dr. Siska said.