Congenital and ischemic heart disease: what’s the difference?

A congenital heart disease is a structural abnormality of the heart that occurs from the moment of birth, already in the mother’s womb. An ischemic heart disease is a heart disease that is due to total or partial coronary obstruction of the coronary arteries and manifests as angina or infarction. In the same way, it can also produce heart failure or arrhythmias.

What causes ischemic heart disease?

Ischemic heart disease is caused by the presence of partial or total obstruction of the coronary arteries due to the accumulation of cholesterol and thrombus, known as arteriosclerosis.

The factors that favor this accumulation are age, family history of early ischemic heart disease, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Although there are factors that cannot be modified, such as age, gender or family history… there are others that can be clearly improved with a change in lifestyle, such as not smoking, exercise, an adequate Mediterranean diet, weight loss and control of cardiovascular risk factors.

How is it treated?

Treatment consists of preventive measures to avoid disease progression, in addition to treatment for better control. Aspirin and cholesterol-lowering treatments such as statins are among the treatments used to prevent the progression of the disease. To prevent or reduce episodes of chest pain (angina), antianginal drugs such as beta-blockers, nitrates or calcium channel blockers can be used.