Heart Attacks: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Statistics and More
Heart attack is the result of an interruption in the supply of blood to a part of the heart, and this causes heart cells to die. This is caused by the blockage of the coronary artery that follows a breakup of atherosclerotic plaque, an unstable group of white blood cells and lipids in the walls of an artery. Death or damage can result from oxygen shortage and restrictions in the supply of blood to the heart if this situation persists for a long enough period of time.
Age. Age is the largest factor of risk in heart attacks. The risk of heart attack is high for men over 45 and women over 55. At the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, scientists have found that baldness and fatty deposits around the eyelids are associated with increased risk of heart attacks.
Angina. This illness causes the heart to be deprived of oxygen, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in the blood increase the risk of developing clots in the arteries, which may block the supply of blood to the heart thus causing a heart attack.
Diabetes. Diabetes has been found to increase the risk of a heart attack.
Diet. People who consume large quantities of saturated fats or animal fats have a higher risk of getting heart attacks.
Genes. People whose parents have suffered this disease have a higher risk of getting one.
Heart surgery. Patients who have undergone heart surgery have a higher risk of having heart attacks.
Hypertension. High blood pressure might be caused by lack of activity, genes, diabetes, and other factors.
Obesity. Obese people have a higher risk of having heart attacks.
Previous heart attacks. Anybody who has had a heart attack in the past is likely to get another one in the future.
Some of the symptoms of heart attacks include:
- Pain in the chest, jaw, arm, or throat.
- Indigestion, a choking feeling, irregular heartbeats, nausea, sweating, dizziness.
- Anxiety and extreme weakness.
The blocked artery must be treated quickly after a heart attack in order to lessen the damage to the heart. It is important to use an emergency service like 911. Waiting longer than two hours to start the treatment for the heart will increase the chances of death.
The goal of taking drugs for heart attacks is to prevent platelets from sticking to the plaque upon gathering and prevent more ischemia in the future.
- Aspirin is used to prevent the clotting of the blood.
- Plavix and Brilinta are used to prevent blood clotting.
- Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) provides thrombolytic therapy to dissolve a major clot quickly.
It is important to follow the advice of your cardiologist in order to prevent further heart attacks. You might need to quit smoking, lower the cholesterol levels in your blood, keep an ideal body weight, control your stress, and follow an exercise plan among other actions.
- The leading cause of death for both men and women is heart attack, and men are more prone to get it.
- In the U.S., about 600,000 die every year from heart attacks.
- Coronary heart disease in the United States costs $108.9 billion a year.
About the Author
Parkway Heart and Vascular Center possesses global expertise in heart attack diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect you may be suffering from heart attack symptoms, please consult a cardiologist immediately.
Originally posted 2013-03-19 13:10:53.