Could Your Child Be At Risk For Heart Disease?
“The increasing number of cases in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other health problems in kids are putting them at higher risk”
India is creating a buzz across the globe for its alarming figures relating to heart disease in the country and especially in kids. The symptoms can help parents identify if their child is at risk for any of the common heart diseases. Hence, here are some of the cardiac issues diagnosed in Indian children along with their symptoms and treatment.
Congenital Heart Disease
It is the most common heart disease detected in children, believed to have a long-term effect. These diseases involve structural defects in the heart and result in a wide range of heart anomalies such as narrow aortic valve, mitral valve prolapse, defects in chamber walls, holes in the heart, and other structural detects,
Causes – Inherited at birth
Symptoms – Bluish hue of skin, lips and nail beds. Slow growth and development in child.
Treatment – Surgery, catheter procedures, medications, and heart transplant.
Arrythmias decreases the pumping efficiency of the heart and leads to disorders such as tachycardia, bradycardia, long Q-T syndrome and Wolff- Parkinson-White Syndrome.
Causes – Diabetes, excessive coffee consumption, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, mental stress, scarring of heart, smoking, interruption to electrical impulses.
Symptoms – Dizziness, fainting, fatigue and difficulty in feeding.
- The treatment for Arrythmias depends on its type and how it affects the child.
- Some arrhythmias are treated with pacemakers, while others are treated with a jolt of electricity to the heart.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (lCD) is a device used for treating patients at risk for ventricular fibrillation.
- It is a small device which controls the condition by using electrical pulses or shocks.
This is a health condition that indirectly relates to the heart and has severe implications on the child’s health. This defect is diagnosed in individuals who have or had congenital heart detects and also occurs in infants with pulmonary hypertension. It causes blood clots, strokes, and kidney failure.
Causes – Congenital heart detects
Symptoms – collection of three symptoms:
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Cyanosis, pale blue or greyish skin
- Excess red blood cells
Treatment – Supplemental oxygen, medications to control pulmonary hypertension and sometimes removal of blood to decrease ABC count. The treatment usually depends on the symptoms.
Caused by cholesterol-tilled plaques and build-up of tat in arteries, this is a heart disease that narrows the arteries and chokes the passage of blood. Although it is quite rare in children, the increasing number of cases in obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other health problems in kids are putting them at higher risk.
Causes – Fats in arteries and cholesterol- tilled plaque.
Symptoms – Usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it severely narrows the arteries.
Treatment – Lifestyle changes. dietary modification, exercise.
Mostly, children are affected by Kawasaki disease and it causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the feet, lips, hands, mouth and throat. It is a major health condition and is diagnosed in one of every five children, mostly under the age of five according to a study.
Causes – Blood vessel inflammation.
Symptoms – In the first phase there is high fever lasting more than five days, extremely red eyes without thick discharge, rashes on the trunk and genital area, swollen tongue and skin on the palms. In the second phase, peeling of skin on the hands and feet, diarrhoea, joint pain, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Treatment – Often IV gamma globulin or aspirin, but also depends on the extent of the disease. Children who are the victims of this disease require monitoring from time to time.
This is a medical condition caused by a distinct murmuring sound in the blood passage through the heart’s valves, chambers, or blood vessel close to the heart.
Causes – They may occur by congenital heart defects, fever, or anaemia.
Symptoms – Poor eating habits, inadequate growth, shortness of breath, excessive sweating from minimum exertion, chest pain, bluish hue of fingertips and lips, chronic cough, dizziness.
Treatment – It is often harmless but medical tests are advised and it may require additional treatment, depending on the results of the tests.
This health condition is caused due to inflammation or infection in the pericardium membrane surrounding the heart. It restrains the blood flow through the heart due to increase in fluids between two layers of the membrane.
Causes – It may occur due to chest trauma or infection.
Symptoms – Sharp chest pain, pain in shoulders. weakness, coughing, breathlessness, and palpitations. Fever in the case of acute pericarditis.
Treatment – Depends on the severity of disease, overall health and child s health.
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic heart disease occurs in children who belong to the age group of five to fifteen. Its symptoms usually don’t show up for about ten to twenty years, but it often damages the myocarditis and heart valves severely and often permanently.
Causes – Streptococcus bacteria that cause strep throat and scarlet fever.
Symptoms – Chest pain, swelling, joint pain, inflammation.
Treatment – It is preventable by using antibiotics for strep throat.