What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack
The major symptoms of a heart attack are
- Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.
Heart Attacks Are On The Rise In Patients Aged 20
Not long ago, heart attacks were primarily a problem faced by older adults. It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age.
Heres another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.
Your outlook isnt better following a heart attack just because youre younger. Patients who have a heart attack in their 20s or 30s face the same risks as older patients. Once you have that first heart attack, you have the same chance of dying from a second major heart event or a stroke regardless of your age.
What Causes A Heart Attack At A Young Age
When 34-year-old Przemyslaw Simon Blazejowicz suffered a heart attack in February 2019, doctors at JFK Medical Center were initially puzzled why such a young manwho also worked out six days a weekwould fall among the tiny percentage of Americans under age 40 stricken by heart attacks each year.
It turns out that Simons strong family history of heart disease, including an often-genetic condition that makes blood clot more rapidly, placed him in the top two risk factors for an early heart attack. The other leading risk factor for heart attacks in people under 40 is substance abuse, especially cocaine, says Saleem Husain, M.D., director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Chest Pain Center at JFK, who successfully treated Simon.
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At Risk: Heart Disease Affecting More People In Their 20s And 30s
Jerey McKinney, 35, plays with her 1-year-old daughter, Kendall, in their Normal home on Aug. 30. McKinney, who suffered a heart attack because of spontaneous coronary artery dissection one week into her pregnancy and a second heart attack six days after Kendall was born, appreciates her second chance at life.
NORMAL The face of heart disease used to be your father. Now its your adult children.
Its not an old mans disease anymore, said Dr. Siddharth Gandhi, an interventional cardiologist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.
Heart disease affects men and women and now, unfortunately, at younger ages, Gandhi said.
A generation ago, heart disease affected mostly men in their 50s and 60s. Now, its affecting more women and men in their 20s and 30s.
In the past three to four years, Ive done interventions for people as young as 28, Gandhi said. Heart disease in young adults has become a significant concern, he said.
One reason is because of growing obesity in young adults.
That provides the fertilizer for developing diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, he said. Those diseases along with smoking greatly increase the risk of developing heart disease, he said.
These processes used to affect people in their 60s but now its affecting people at a younger age, he said.
Adding to the danger is that most young adults dont realize theyre at risk of a heart attack.
They think theyre invincible, Gandhi said.
McLean County Heart Walk & 5K Run
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
Although many people think heart attacks happen mostly to men, heartdisease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. So it’s justas important for women of every age torecognize heart attack signsand seek immediate medical attention.
For the vast majority of people men and women chest pain or discomfortis the primary symptom of a heart attack. However, women are more likelythan men are to have less recognizable heart attack symptoms, such as:
- Pain or discomfort in different parts of the upper body
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
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Rolanda Perkins 50 Had A Heart Attack At Age 39
There were a lot of things on my mind in the week leading up to my heart attack, but my symptoms weren’t exactly one of them. At the time, I was under a lot of stress. I was working the midnight shift at my job at a child-abuse hotline, while also planning a huge surprise party for my sister. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I internalized a lot of that pressure.
A week before the party, I started coming down with really bad headaches. I self-medicated with Excedrin and I brushed it off as a migraine. I figured that I was just tired, and it would go away after everything calmed down.
I had a heart attack the day after the party, on a Sunday. I was mopping the floor when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I’d never felt anything like that before. I thought maybe it was intense indigestion. And I remember thinking, “I’ll go to bed and deal with it tomorrow.” That didn’t happen. The pain was so bad that it woke me up at around 3:30 in the morning, and a friend drove me to the hospital. When I got there, the tests showed that I was having a heart attack, and the doctors performed an angioplastya procedure in which a small tube is inserted into the artery to help prop it open.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Disease
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of all people in the United States have at least one of these three risk factors.6
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including
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When Should You See Your Doctor
Its always better to err on the side of caution if something doesnt feel right. If you have noticed that you are shorter of breath with regular activity, you should go to your general doctor or your cardiologist, says Dr. Cho. It depends on the severity and the acuteness if it has started recently or not.
When you do visit, be sure to:
- Bring a list of your symptoms and when they are occurring.
- Let them know about any related family history of heart disease.
- Talk about stress or anything going on in your life that might contribute to a problem.
Your doctor likely will listen to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may order blood work, which will show whether your heart is damaged. They also may use an electrocardiogram to tell whether the electrical activity of your heart is normal, or an echocardiogram to view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred. Some patients may get stress tests, a coronary computed tomography angiogram or a cardiac catheterization.All of this is important in identifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heart attack.
Why Have Heart Attacks Become Prevalent In Young People
Heart attack is a concerning problem. But there is something more worrisome: heart attacks are becoming more common among young adults under the age of 40, particularly those in their twenties and thirties. Earlier people above the age of 40 were considered to have the biggest risk of heart attacks, but these days the problem is typically affecting those in the age group of 20-30 years.
As we move ahead in the blog, itll educate about heart attack, its causes, and develop a long-term plan to prevent heart attack at an early age.
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Substance Abuse Takes A Toll On Your Heart
The experts are still studying the effect of marijuana on your heart, but they know that it boosts your heart rate and raises your risk of having a heart attack. Cocaines impact on your heart, however, is well established. Cocaine increases your heart rate, tightens your blood vessels, and raises your blood pressure, all of which are associated with heart attacks.
Many heart attacks are preventable because you can change your risk factors by making lifestyle changes and taking medications if needed to protect your health. You can get all the support you need to prevent a heart attack at the Cardio Metabolic Institute.
We have a team of cardiologists, weight management experts, and physical therapists ready to provide holistic health care that addresses all your cardiovascular risk factors regardless of your age. To get started on the road to a long, healthy life, call or book an appointment online.
Heart Attacks Striking Younger Women
Younger women are having more heart attacks, says a recent study.Researchers were surprised to find that while the heart attack rate hasdecreased among older adults, it’s risen among those ages 35-54, especiallywomen. TheAtherosclerosis Risk in Communities studyreviewed more than 28,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in fourcities.
“This observational study found a trend in young women,” saysVirginia Colliver, M.D., cardiologist withJohns Hopkins Community Physicians-Heart Carein Bethesda, Maryland. “But the research doesn’t provide insight into whythe uptick in heart attacks is happening to younger people. I suspect ithas to do with more people having risk factors for heart disease at anearlier age.”
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What Are The First Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack In A Woman
When a woman is having a heart attack, one of the first things she may notice is that shes feeling incredibly tired that is, more tired than the usual work-kids-Im-in-charge-of-everything kind of tired. Theres very good information on what premonitory symptoms that women had prior to being diagnosed, and the most common is overwhelming fatigue, says Dr. Watson.
You might not think youre having a heart attack when you feel this way, because it could be something else, and frankly, who hasnt felt totally wiped?
But heres the thing: Its almost always accompanied by something else: Chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, indigestion, says Dr. Watson. Fatigue, says Dr. Watson, might not be the most prominent symptom, so its important to look at the totality of what youre feeling. If you have overwhelming fatigue and any of those other things, thats a sign that something is off, she says.
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Recovering From A Heart Attack
The time it takes to recover from a heart attack will depend on the amount of damage to your heart muscle.
Most people can return to work after having a heart attack. Some people are well enough to return to work after 2 weeks. Other people may take several months to recover. How quickly you can go back to work depends on your health, the state of your heart and the type of work you do.
The recovery process aims to:
- reduce your risk of another heart attack through a combination of lifestyle changes , and medicines , which help to lower blood cholesterol levels
- gradually restore your physical fitness so you can resume normal activities
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What Is A Heart Attack
When the blood supply to the heart is cut off, a heart attack occurs. The most common cause of blockage is a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other chemicals in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, forming plaque. A plaque can burst and generate a clot, obstructing blood flow. Parts of the heart muscle can be damaged or destroyed if blood flow is disrupted.
Although a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, can be fatal, therapy has vastly improved over the years. If you think youre experiencing a heart attack, contact 112 or get emergency medical care right away.
Know Your Familys Health History
Your family history doesnt explicitly mean youll suffer the same cardiac conditions as other family members, but it does increase your chances of heart disease and strokes. Find out if anyone in your familyparents, brothers, sisters or grandparentshas suffered any cardiovascular problems. After learning your familys health history, bring it to your doctor to discuss lifestyle choices or concerns you may have. Establishing a positive relationship with your doctor around your familys health will allow them to help you plan your hearts future accordingly.
Heart Attacks Are Becoming More Common In Younger People Especially Women
Please note: This article was published more than two years ago, so some information may be outdated. If you have questions about your health, always contact a health care professional.
Heart attacks once characterized as a part of “old man’s disease” are increasingly occurring in younger people, especially women, according to new research.
The study presented Sunday at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago and published in the AHA journal Circulation, sought to investigate heart attacks in the young, a group frequently overlooked in cardiovascular research.
Past research has shown heart attack rates in the U.S. have declined in recent decades among 35- to 74-year-olds. But for the new study, researchers wanted to look specifically at how many younger people were having heart attacks.
They included data from a multi-state study of more than 28,000 people hospitalized for heart attacks from 1995 to 2014. The results showed 30 percent of those patients were young, age 35 to 54.
More importantly, they found the people having heart attacks were increasingly young, from 27 percent at the start of the study to 32 percent at the end.
“Women were not managed the same way as men, and that could be for a combination of reasons,” said Arora, a cardiology fellow at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Piña and Arora both said they would like to see women better represented in future studies on heart disease.
Symptoms Of Heart Attack
Below listed are the symptoms associated with a heart attack:
- Pain or building up pressure in your chest or arms, tightness, or a squeezing or hurting sensation that may move to your neck, jaw, or back.
- Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain
- Breathing problems
- Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness
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Five Facts About Heart Disease To Live By
1. Keep Moving
If you havent been exercising at all, its never too late to start. The older we get, we are tempted to find excuses to avoid physical activity. If exercise is new to you, talk with your doctor about which activities are preferable. Even short walks offer advantages to your heart.
According to research by the American Heart Association, physically active middle-aged adults have a low risk of sudden cardiac arrest. The results confirm that there are significant benefits to middle-agers who exercise.
If you are in your 50s, try for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If you are in your 60s or beyond, try for 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
2. Your Age Alone May Put You at Increased Risk for Heart Disease
Your risk for heart disease increases with age, especially with people of color and for those who are over 65. While the average age for a heart attack is 64.5 for men, and 70.3 for women, nearly 20 percent of those who die of heart disease are under the age of 65.
3. Your Other Risk Factors are Important
Know your personal risk factors. Some you are born with and some you cannot control:
Risk factors that you may be able to do something about include:
When Should You Call 911 For A Heart Problem
At certain times, calling 911 right away is a must. If youre having chest pressure or chest tightness that started that day, you should not wait to go to your general practitioner, says Dr. Cho. Go to the emergency room.
You should also call 911 and get help right away if you have chest pain or discomfort along with any of the following symptoms, especially if they last longer than five minutes:
- Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
- Sweating or cold sweat.
- Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
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Young Adults Are Increasingly Diagnosed With Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, just like the trend in heart attacks, the incidence of hypertension is rising faster in young adults than in older adults. High blood pressure makes your heart muscles thicken, harms your blood vessels, and increases your risk of a heart attack.