heart health may fail

60% of women admitted to the hospital with heart failure have severe mitral regurgitation. The data were announced by Mexican Guillermo Torres, professor of cardiology and full member of the Houston Methodist Hospital Research Institute, where he has worked for nearly 30 years.

This specialist was one of the international guests of the Third Symposium on Heart Failure and Cardiovascular Imaging, held this week at the Fundación Cardioinfantil de Bogotá, bringing together the most important experts in this field.

Torres, an authority on the medical management of functional mitral regurgitation in heart failure in the United States, shared with dozens of colleagues during the symposium the advances and techniques for the management of this health condition and the commitment to care conducted by Houston Methodist Hospital. , because it is one of the most important heart disease care centers in the world.

To get started, explain Functional mitral regurgitation is related to the “mitral valve of the heart, a very important compartment responsible for regulating blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The heart on the left is the one that pumps blood to the entire heart, head, muscles, abdomen and legs.

So, “if the valve that separates the ventricle isn’t working, when the left ventricle’s heart pumps out all the blood circulation and returns to the left atrium, there’s a lot less blood sent to the whole body, and a lot less blood coming from the heart, which translates to the patient feeling short of breath and feeling tired and exhausted,” he says. Dr. Torres.

When this failure occurs, a significant amount of blood returns to the lung, causing discomfort and fatigue for the patient.

In other words, the correct way of pumping all the blood in the body depends on the presence of the mitral valve.

But, How does this situation occur? Dr. According to Torres, the answer lies in bad health habits such as being overweight, high cholesterol and tobacco use. All these habits increase the risk of having a heart attack, hypertension or diabetes, especially in women. and each of these diseases weakens the heart and therefore causes mitral regurgitation.

Therefore, it is a preventable condition: Functional mitral regurgitation will not occur if the heart’s health is maintained with good health habits.

Serious consequences

And this, when the heart is sick due to a heart attack or high blood pressure, it gradually weakens, “And this weakness of the muscle causes it to grow, and when the muscle grows, the framework in which the mitral valve sits opens, causing it to not work well and closing properly.”

Torres explains this with a simple example: It’s as if the door frame of our house grows from one moment to the next, causing the entrance door not to close properly, creating a hole through which many things enter.

same thing happens when a weak and diseased heart grows. “That’s when heart failure occurs and the mitral valve, which has a size-fixed chamber and an on-off mechanism, cannot fully function and close completely.” reassures the doctor.

Thus, “when the gate has to close, a hole remains and this causes blood to back up into the part of the atrium and functional mitral regurgitation associated with heart failure.”

In Colombia, cardiovascular medicine has several alternatives for seriously ill patients. One of these is the MitraClip device, which can be inserted into the patient without the need for complicated surgery and with less invasive procedures. To close this hole, the mitral valve opens with the enlargement of the heart.

“It’s a pretty standard procedure that has been practiced in Colombia for many years. I can say that I am very impressed with the advances in heart failure treatment in Colombia, from many countries I know in Latin America, and from my more than 30 years of work in the United States. This is one of the best countries for the care of patients with heart failure,” he concludes.


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