Copy of `British Cardiac Patients Association - Cardiology terms`

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British Cardiac Patients Association - Cardiology terms
Category: Health and Medicine > heart issues
Date & country: 19/11/2007, UK
Words: 45


Allergy
An allergy is when a substance triggers an undesirable or over-reaction in the immune system.

Ambulance
Some ambulance authorities advise that in general one should call for an ambulance if someone:

Anterior
means situated at or towards the front of the body. Opposite of posterior.

Antiplatelet drugs
help prevent platelets sticking together to form blood clots. Usually they are taken regularly. Such drugs are also given after heart surgery to prevent clots forming. Aspirin is the most widely used antiplatelet drug. See International Normalized Ratio.

Aortic aneurysm
is a sac and/or dilation at some place in the aorta where the aorta artery wall may be weakened or damaged.

Artery
An artery is a blood vessel in which blood flows from the heart to part of the rest of the body. The main artery from the lower left ventricle of the heart is the aorta. The tubes from the lower right of the heart to the lungs are also called arteries. Compare Vein.

Assertion
Assertion has two meanings. In ordinary usage it refers to a positive statement perhaps made without any evidence or justification.

basal metabolic rate
is the rate at which the patient's body is actually producing energy or heat when resting. Measuring core body temperature when a patient is sitting at rest about mid-morning gives a good indication of basal metabolic rate.

Blood analysis
measures the amounts of particular substances in a blood sample in a blood test.

Cardiac
means relating to the heart. A cardiac patient has a heart disorder; and a cardiac drug is one that stimulates heart muscles.

Control group
means a group of patients used as a control in a statistical research experiment or trial eg of a drug or new treatment. They do not receive anything useful but are needed for comparisons. Usually in the trial they receive either a placebo or the standard quantity of an existing standard drug. So the effects of the new alternative drug or treatment on another group of patients can be determined from the comparisons and differences between the observed results of the other group and of the control group. See Double-blind trial.

Death rates
CHD and strokes are the major causes of disability and premature deaths in the UK.

Dermatitis
is a skin inflammation. Vitamin H prevents it and also helps avoid loss of hair.

Dorsal
means towards or relating to the back or spine. Opposite of Ventral. Also see Posterior.

Embolus
An embolus or embolism is a part of a blood clot that breaks away and flows in the blood to somewhere else. A pulmonary embolism is such a clot that flows to and stops in a pulmonary artery near the lungs. See Blood clot.

Exercise
For further information and an Exercise plan after a heart attack see that HRI document. See also under Stress.

Fibrinogen
is a blood-clotting agent. In research trials high levels were found to be statistically associated with an increased risk of adverse heart conditions such as CHD.

Folic acid
is an essential vitamin needed to avoid anaemia and to control homocysteine.

HDL
See HDL under Cholesterol.

Heart UK
is a charity formed on 27 June 2002 by a merger of the Family Heart Association and the British Hyperlipidaemia Association. It regards itself as The Cholesterol Society.

highly significant
and denoted by **; and less than 0.1% = 1 in 1000 is even higher and denoted by *** as below. Others sometimes use these terms slightly differently. The criterion of what probability is regarded as significant is ultimately arbitrary. It is preferable for the actual percentage to be given in research results.

Hormone
A hormone is a chemical produced in an endocrine gland and transported in the blood to a particular tissue where it exerts a particular effect.

Inferior
means lower in quality or value; or situated beneath or lower in position. Opposite of Superior.

Lipid
Lipids are any of a group of organic compounds that are esters of fatty acids or closely related substances. Generally they do not dissolve in water. but are soluble in some other organic solvents.

Melatonin
is a hormone produced in the pineal gland. See melatonin under Circadian rhythm.

Minerals
are elements explained under Proteins.

Platelet
Platelets are small disc-shaped blood structures that are involved in blood clotting. They stick together to form the clot. See Thrombosis and antiplatelet drug.

Posterior
means situated at or towards the back of the body. Opposite of Anterior. Also see Dorsal.

Primary prevention
means preventing a disease before it happens. Compare Secondary prevention.

Pulmonary
means associated with the lungs.

Pulmonary vein
The pulmonary veins are the four veins that take oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the heart.

Pulse
This has two meanings.

Restenosis
means becoming stenosed again after treatment such as a stent being fitted.

Risk
is a calculated probability or chance of some future result or outcome. The calculation is usually based on the observed pattern of many past patients.

Salt
has several meanings.

Statin
Statins are lipid-regulating medicines lipid-lowering tablets. They are used to:

Symptom
The symptoms of an injury or disease are the sensations that the patient experiences and can describe.

System
The systems approach to understanding how things work is based on two ideas.

Thyroxine, thyroid gland
The thyroid gland near the base of the neck produces hormones such as thyroxine that control metabolism and body growth.

Traumatic
means arising from any injury or wound to the body.

Triglycerides
are relatively harmful fatty substances in the blood. Most natural fats and oils contain these. The amount can be measured in a blood test.

Vein
A vein is a blood vessel in which blood flows towards the heart from part of the rest of the body.

Ventral
means towards or relating to the front of the body or towards the belly. Opposite of dorsal. Also see Anterior.

Ventricle
The right ventricle is the lower-right chamber of the heart. Similarly the left ventricle is the lower-left chamber. Blood is pumped from the left ventricle to the rest of the body along arteries; and from the right ventricle to the lungs.

Viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the extent to which a liquid such as blood does not flow easily its stickiness. Eg syrup or treacle is more viscous than water. See International Normalized Ratio.