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Heart Attack Causes and Risk Factors
by admin | June 22, 2021 | Causes | 2 comments

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, is an outcome of blocked blood supply to the heart. The blockage may result from build-up of cholesterol, fat and other substances, which leads to the development of plaque in coronaries arteries (blood vessels that transport oxygenated blood to the heart muscle). It occurs when plaque ruptures and forms a clot that terminates blood supply to the heart, thereby damaging or destroying part of the heart muscle.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), particularly heart attacks and strokes, kill around 17 million people worldwide every year, suggests the World Health Organization (WHO). CVDs refer to a group of medical conditions associated with the heart and blood vessels. It is estimated that four out of five CVD deaths are attributed to heart attacks and strokes.

Despite hearing the word “heart attack” many times a day, most of us still know very little about it. So, let’s learn about heart attack causes and risk factors, and treatment measures for a speedy recovery from heart attack.

Heart Attack Symptoms

The major heart attack symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort (in the form of fullness, pain, squeezing, or uncomfortable pressure) in the center or left side of the chest that may last for over a few minutes.
  • Shortness of breath, usually after pain or discomfort in chest
  • Experiencing pain or discomfort in the neck, neck, or back.
  • Experiencing pain or discomfort in one or both shoulders or arms
  • Feeling light-headed, faint or weak
  • Cold sweat may also be seen in many cases of possible heart attack.

In addition, unusual or unexplained, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness in combination with above symptoms may indicate a heart attack threat. It is important to note that women are more likely to experience these symptoms. The significance of identifying signs of heart attack lies in the fact that chances of surviving a heart attack depend on how quickly the patient is able to get the emergency treatment.

Heart Attack Risk Factors

There are a number of heart attack risk factors including age, lifestyle, and family history. A majority of population across the world shows one of the three heart attack causes and risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol

Mitigate the Risk of Heart Attack

Healthy eating habits

  • Avoid saturated and trans fat completely
  • Consume more foods rich in fiber
  • Limit salt (sodium) and sugar in your diet

Maintain a Healthy weight

Overweight or obesity tends to increase the risk of heart attack as it puts extra stress on the heart and blood vessels. Moderate intensity exercise like walking, bicycling, brisk walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week can be helpful.

Smoking and heart attack risk

Smoking is known as the biggest risk factor for heart attack. If you are a non-smoker, you are doing GREAT. Else, quit it with immediate effect to lower your risk for heart disease significantly.

Regular Health Check-ups

A heart attack can be fatal; therefore it is importance to recognize early signs of a heart attack as well as take precautionary measures to ward off this deadly disease. Also, go for health screening every six months, which may include tests like ECG, ECHO etc. You should also speak to your physician about minimizing the risk or making recovery from heart attack.

Visit Making India Heart Strong website, anytime, for any heart-related testing or treatment for high heart rate or heart stroke treatment. Take care of your heart and enjoy a healthy life!

 

References

https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases/#tab=tab_1

 

FAQs

Q. How is smoking and heart attack riskrelated?

Smoking is the major preventable cause of heart diseases across the world. Nicotine and other harmful components of cigarette smoke may contribute to the following adverse affects on the heart:

  • Higher heart rate and blood pressure
  • More blood clotting
  • Less oxygen to the heart
  • Damaging the cells that line coronary arteries

Quitting smoking can lower significantly lower the risk of heart disease, even more than the use of medicines (aspirin, statins, ACE inhibitors and beta blockers) used to lower heart attack risk.

Q. What are the causes of heart attack at young age?

Heart attack at young age is not that common but still a fraction of young generation may get affected. Here are some risk factors of heart attack at young age.

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive alcohol use or substance abuse
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes

 

Q. Do women exhibit different symptoms of heart attack?

It has been found that women experience heart attacks differently than men. In fact, classic symptoms of heart attack like chest or arm pain may be absent in women. Still, here are the symptoms that women may show:

  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pressure or pain in the center of chest, spreading to the arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Unusual fatigue lasting for several days
  • Upper back, shoulder or throat pain
  • Jaw pain

Q. Does your body warn you before a heart attack?

Although heart diseases may or may not produce its classic symptoms, it is important to keep an eye some of the common symptoms of heart attack, including squeezing, pressure, fullness, and pain in the center of the chest, which spreads to the shoulder, neck, or jaw. In addition, symptoms like upper abdominal pressure or discomfort, nausea, fainting, sweating, or shortness of breath (with or without chest discomfort) also warrant attention.

Q. How to keep heart healthy after heart attack?

Here are some effective that you can take to recover from a heart attack as well as preventing another one in the future:

  • Stop smoking with immediate effect
  • Keep your blood pressure in check as it puts pressure on your heart and blood pressure
  • Control your bad cholesterol (LDL) as it increases the risk of heart disease
  • Watch out for diabetes
  • Regular cardio exercise including running, walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming can help make your heart stronger
  • Consume a heart-healthy diet including more fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • Don’t take stress

Go for regular health check-up and keep an eye on vital statistics.

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