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Heart Disease from Medical and Social Viewpoint Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 1st, 2021

Heart disease acts as the primary source of death for individuals of different ethnic backgrounds in the US, encompassing whites, African Americans, and Hispanics. The leading cause of death for American Indians and Asians is cancer, which is followed by heart disease. In the US, more than 600,000 individuals die of heart disease each year. This is equivalent to one out of every four death cases. Coronary heart disease has been found to be the commonest form of heart disease and kills more than 370,000 every year (Mozaffarian et al., 2016).

Moreover, approximately 700,000 Americans get heart attack each year, where about 500,000 have it as the first occurrence, and 200,000 have had a previous incidence. Studies have established that heart disease is a major source of death and disability around the globe. In the United States, heart disease has been associated with major health disparities and increasing medical costs.

Medical Viewpoint

In the diagnosis of heart disease, an electrocardiogram is often the first test that is carried out. Through the recording of all activities in the cardiovascular system, such testing quickly discloses the existing problems that could be the basis of trouble or might show that the muscles of the heart have been affected by the deficiency of oxygen-rich blood. More details may be found through X-ray images of the heart and scope of scans with the help of computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear expertise, or through angiography, a specialized approach that enables comprehensive visualizing of blood vessels.

Ultrasound assessment of the heart, an echocardiogram may as well establish how effectively the heart and valves are functioning. Proper medical care is crucial from the moment that heart disease is diagnosed (Arthur, Wright, & Smith, 2016). Objectives of treatment include stabilization of the condition, management of symptoms for a long duration, and provision of cure when achievable. Reducing stress, having a proper diet, and ensuring lifestyle improvement are essential practices in the management of heart disease, although the mainstays of conventional care are surgical treatment and drugs.

To ensure a healthy heart, smokers are advised to stop the habit. One should also ensure adequate physical exercise since it reinforces the heart and blood vessels, decreases stress, reduces blood pressure, and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Moreover, high consumption of alcohol is not recommended. Effective treatment of heart disease relies on the cause of the condition but usually encompasses drugs to aid in the control of symptoms; for instance, water pills and diuretics flush body fluids while beta-blockers obstruct adrenaline’s action. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors assist in the modulation of potassium and sodium balance and improve the level of blood pressure. In the healthcare sector, devices such as defibrillators and pacemakers are at times implanted to improve the operations of the heart and prevent deadly arrhythmias (Arthur et al., 2016). In worse instances, a heart transplant might be a deliberation.

Sociological Viewpoint

Poverty coupled with the numerous stresses that emanate from social disadvantage has been associated with increased heart disease. The way in which people live, play, socialize, and work has exceptional influences on heart health for individuals from a wide scope of cultural and economic settings. Socioeconomic status and access to quality care have a fundamental role in the impact of heart disease.

There is a need for people in society to learn concerning the interplay of intricate concerns that encompass social networking and support, ethnic background, residential setting, culture, patients’ capabilities and convictions, health literacy, housing, and education, to mention a few. The sociological perspective highlights the requirement for enhanced metrics concerning the prevention and treatment of heart disease (Havranek et al., 2015).

Of great concern to patients and caregivers, the standpoint stresses the gains of having information about socioeconomic status in heart disease risk forecast models. In line with the equity theory, a novel approach to the health of the population should be established to strongly assess all populations with an eye toward the eradication of inequalities in heart disease, improved prevention, treatment, and support of healthy aging.

Poor health numeracy and literacy confirm the correlation between low education and increased heart disease. Poor health literacy is linked to education lower than high school, cardiovascular diseases, and negative medical outcomes. Studies report the shortage of practices that enhance self-care actions, management of risk factors, and heart health in people with low health numeracy and literacy (Havranek et al., 2015). One of the most fundamental gaps in studies on the connection between social backing and heart disease is that approaches geared toward the reinforcement of sociological aspects have not demonstrated better cardiovascular outcomes. The involvement of people at their support systems might be an effective intervention, which calls for future investigation.

Compare and Contrast

The medical viewpoint focuses on health and comprehensive wellbeing, that is, physical, psychological, and emotional. On the contrary, the sociological viewpoint shows that a well-functioning society relies on effective interaction of healthy individuals and successful control of diseases. Unlike the sociological perspective, the medical viewpoint holds the social institution tasked with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases (Sanchis-Gomar, Perez-Quilis, Leischik, & Lucia, 2016).

To complete the set tasks, the medical standpoint relies on numerous disciplines such as chemistry, biology, life, and earth sciences. The preventive approach underscores healthy behaviors that result in the avoidance of diseases, for instance, ensuring healthy nutrition, having sufficient physical exercise, and maintaining safe surroundings. Though some people are convinced that science alone establishes diseases, the sociological perspective has introduced a different way of determining sickness.

For instance, cultural aspects determine the legitimacy of diseases when they have vivid scientific or laboratory proof. In the past, the sociological viewpoint found situations such as reliance on chemistry as a weakness of character and denied the sick role to people who were suffering from addictions. Nowadays, rehabilitation plans and other cultural approaches identify addiction as a disease.

Similar to the medical perspective, the sociological viewpoint examines healthiness and illness, identifies the sick role, and establishes the social definition of the conducts of and practices toward the people defined by the society as unwell. Both perspectives underscore the significance of being healthy, identify that being disease-free relies on the surrounding environment and a steady mind, and lead to a decreased mortality rate.

Society commiserates with and permits the people who satisfy the criteria of being unwell to assume the sick role (Marcus, Echeverria, Holland, Abraido-Lanza, & Passannante, 2016). Nevertheless, it loses sympathy for and withdraws the sick role to the people who seem to enjoy it or those who do not search for treatment. Family members and friends might demonstrate sympathy for some time but lose it if they feel that the patient is a hypochondriac.

Unlike in the past, where health or illnesses were associated with biological and natural conditions, today, they are attributed to both medical perspective and sociological viewpoint. In its contribution, the sociological standpoint has shown that the spread of illnesses is strongly swayed by the socioeconomic position of people, ethnic beliefs, and cultural aspects, among other factors. Where the medical perspective may embark on the collection of information on an infirmity such as heart disease, the sociological viewpoint may offer knowledge on the external aspects that lead to people developing the symptoms of the condition (Sanchis-Gomar et al., 2016).

Nevertheless, although some arguments in the sociological viewpoint are statistically significant, the enhancement of social support might not be medically noteworthy, but such effective interventions have a tremendous influence on cardiovascular outcomes. Both medical and sociological interventions may be geared toward people’s underlying capacities to progress toward healthiness either at a personal or societal level.

Conclusion

Heart disease is the main source of death for people of different ethnic backgrounds in the United States. Over 600,000 individuals in the country die of heart disease every year, which is equal to one out of every four death cases. The condition has been associated with health disparities and escalating medical costs. Quality health care is vital from the moment that heart disease is diagnosed.

The way individuals live, interrelate, play, and work has a great influence on their heart health from cultural and economic settings. While the medical viewpoint focuses on comprehensive health, the sociological position shows that a well-functioning society relies on the successful interaction of healthy individuals and control of diseases. Both perspectives call attention to the significance of being healthy and recognize that being disease-free relies on the environment and psychological stability.

References

Arthur, H. M., Wright, D. M., & Smith, K. M. (2016). Women and heart disease: The treatment may end, but the suffering continues. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive, 33(3), 1-10.

Havranek, E. P., Mujahid, M. S., Barr, D. A., Blair, I. V., Cohen, M. S., Cruz-Flores, S.,… Rosal, M. (2015). Social determinants of risk and outcomes for cardiovascular disease: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 132(9), 873-898.

Marcus, A. F., Echeverria, S. E., Holland, B. K., Abraido-Lanza, A. F., & Passannante, M. R. (2016). The joint contribution of neighborhood poverty and social integration to mortality risk in the United States. Annals of Epidemiology, 26(4), 261-266.

Mozaffarian, D., Benjamin, E. J., Go, A. S., Arnett, D. K., Blaha, M. J., Cushman, M.,… Howard, V. J. (2016). Heart disease and stroke statistics-2016 update a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 133(4), 38-48.

Sanchis-Gomar, F., Perez-Quilis, C., Leischik, R., & Lucia, A. (2016). Epidemiology of coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndrome. Annals of Translational Medicine, 4(13), 1-12.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Heart Disease from Medical and Social Viewpoint." June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/heart-disease-from-medical-and-social-viewpoint/.

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