Heart Attack And Stroke Causes
Often, people are so surprised when they have a serious medical emergency. They are left wondering what causes a heart attack or stroke. When it comes to heart attacks, when a coronary artery becomes blocked or narrows too much, the blood flow is severely restricted or stops. Coronary arteries are crucial because they supply blood to the heart muscle. A blockage in an artery can occur if a blood clot stops the flow of blood. It also happens if too much cholesterol builds up in the artery and slows circulation or stops it. In terms of a stroke, a blood clot in an artery within the brain can cut of circulation to the brain. The carotid arteries are what carry blood to our brains. Any plaque build-up in the carotid artery can lead to a stroke. This is what we referred to above as an ischemic stroke; however, there is also another type of stroke called haemorrhagic stroke. This happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and blood starts to seep into surrounding tissue. High blood pressure, which can strain the walls of arteries, can lead to a haemorrhagic stroke.
What Is A Cardiac Risk Assessment
This is a group of tests and health factors that have been proven to indicate your chance of having a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke. They have been refined to indicate the degree of risk: borderline, intermediate, or high risk.
Perhaps the most important indicators for cardiac risk are your personal health history. These include:
There are some imaging tests that may be used in cardiac risk assessment. Non-invasive tests may include, for example, an electrocardiogram or a stress test, also called ECG stress test or metabolic stress test. Invasive tests may also be used to evaluate for the presence of cardiovascular disease , but they are usually used for diagnostic purposes in people with signs and symptoms and not for risk assessment. Examples include an angiography/arteriography and cardiac catheterization.
The lipid panel is the most important blood test for cardiac risk assessment.
Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms
Recognising the symptoms of a heart attack and calling Triple Zero could save your life or the life of a loved one. Its important that everyone, both male and female, know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, because early treatment is vital. The longer a blockage is left untreated, the more damage occurs. ; ; ; ;The most common heart attack warning signs are:;;
- Chest discomfort or pain . This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest. This discomfort can spread to your arms, neck, jaw or back. It can last for several minutes or come and go;
- Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint or feeling anxious;
- Nausea, indigestion, vomiting;
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with or without chest discomfort;
- Sweating or a cold sweat. ; ;
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How Can I Prevent A Heart Attack
All women can make changes to help prevent a heart attack. These changes include making , being more physically active, and not smoking. Once you know your heart attack , you and your doctor can work together to lower your risk.
Even if you had a heart attack before, you can make changes to help prevent another heart attack. Learn more steps to .
What Is The Difference Between A Stroke And A Heart Attack
Both heart attacks and strokes occur suddenly and require immediate medical attention. But when the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke abruptly appear, will you know how to tell the difference between the two?
Both result from a lack of blood flow to critical body parts: a stroke is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, while a heart attack is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the heart. The first aid treatments for each emergency differ. Taking immediate action can mean the difference between survival and recovery, or severe damage for a patient.
If you suspect someone is having a heart attack or stroke, call 911 to receive emergency medical help immediately. Understanding the symptoms of each can help you know what to do until help arrives.
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Treatment For A Stroke
Common treatments include:
- clot-busting drugs and other medicines
- tissue plasminogen activator , which can be effective if a person receives it within around 3 to 4.5 hours of having a stoke
- mechanical clot removal, or thrombectomy, within up to 24 hours of symptoms appearing, based on brain imaging
Long-term treatment aims to:
- reduce the risk of another stroke
- address any functionality they have lost, for example, speech difficulties
The overall impact and treatment for the stroke will depend on the area of the brain involved and the amount of tissue damage. A doctor will decide if this is necessary and if any additional treatment is needed.
- managing blood pressure and cholesterol
- avoiding recreational drug use
Leading a healthful lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise is another vital part of reducing the risk.
People who have had previous heart or stroke problems may also want to ask their doctor about including a dose of aspirin in their daily regimen.
Types Of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease covers a number of conditions that are related to lifestyle, including:
- coronary heart disease either angina or heart attack
- stroke either caused by a blockage with a blood clot or the rupturing of a blood vessel and bleeding
- peripheral vascular disease obstruction of the large blood vessels that supply blood to the arms and legs.
Cardiovascular disease conditions that are not related to lifestyle, include:
- acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease caused by an untreated infection with group A streptococcus bacteria
- congenital heart disease inherited conditions that affect the structure of the heart.
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Strokes And Heart Attacks Symptoms: What’s The Difference
Although their symptoms and effects can be similar, strokes and heart attacks are two different medical problems. Both are vascular events, meaning they involve the blood vessels, the arteries in particular. Both conditions can also lead to disability and death.
Heart attacks are almost always the result of progressive coronary artery disease . In CAD, the arteries that supply blood to the heart become choked with fatty deposits called plaque that narrow and block arteries – a condition called atherosclerosis. When pieces of plaque break free, blood clots can form, blocking the flow of blood to the heart. When that happens, the heart muscle does not get the oxygen and nutrients that it needs, and parts of the heart may become damaged or die. This is a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction .
When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, causing a part of the brain to die, it’s called a stroke, or “brain attack.” Stroke is similar to a heart attack, but it affects the blood vessels in the brain instead of the heart.
When the flow of blood to the brain is blocked by a clot, it’s called an ischemic stroke. Another type of stroke, called a transient ischemic attack, is sometimes called a “mini stroke” and is caused by a temporary clot.
Causes of heart attack and stroke
Reducing your risk for heart attack and stroke
See Full Answer Below
Explain what distinguishes a stroke from a heart attack.. A stroke occurs when a blood clot prevents blood from reaching the brain while a heart attack is the result of a blood clot blocking blood flow to. Without oxygenated blood heart muscles start to die. Only about half of the 78 million Americans diagnosed with hypertension are controlling it.
Well a heart attack happens when blood flow to part of the heart becomes blocked. But they also differ in key ways. Both strokes and heart attacks occur when the blood supply to that part of the body is blocked or interrupted.
A stroke is sometimes referred to as a brain attack A heart attack on the other hand often occurs with chest pain. There are two main types of stroke. However in the case of a stroke the brain is impacted.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. A stroke caused by a blood clot is known as an ischemic stroke. CHEST DISCOMFORT Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back.
Warning Signs of Heart Attack Stroke Cardiac Arrest. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can become narrowed from a buildup of fat cholesterol and other substances. Both cause parts of the brain to stop functioning properly.
Become a member and. View an animation of blood flow between the heart and lungs.
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Prevention Is Key To Both Heart Attack And Stroke
When either of these life-threatening conditions occur, responding quickly is essential; but preventing them from happening in the first place is even better. In most cases, both heart attack and stroke can be prevented and many of their risk factors are the same, including: chronic and short-term stress, smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Genetics and other hidden factors also play a role in your level of risk.
The best ways to reduce your risk of suffering from stroke or heart attack are to make healthy lifestyle choices such as: minimizing stress by practicing stress-reduction techniques, exercising on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding harmful activities such as smoking.
Want to learn more about your risk for heart attacks and strokes? Have you experienced a heart attack or stroke in the past, and want to reduce your chances of experiencing a second one? Contact our team of medical professionals at Tri-City Medical Center. Were here to help.
How Are Heart Attack And Stroke Diagnosed
If you have stroke symptoms, your doctor will get a quick summary of symptoms and a medical history. Youll likely get a CT scan of the brain. This can show bleeding in the brain and areas of the brain that may have been affected by poor blood flow. Your doctor may also order an MRI.
A different set of tests is done to diagnose a heart attack. Your doctor will still want to know your symptoms and medical history. After that, theyll use an electrocardiogram to check on the health of your heart muscle.
A blood test is also done to check for enzymes that indicate a heart attack. Your doctor may also perform a cardiac catheterization. This test involves guiding a long, flexible tube through a blood vessel into the heart to check for blockage.
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How Is The Lipid Panel Used
The lipid panel is used to help determine your risk of heart disease and to help make decisions about what treatment may be best if there is borderline or high risk. The results of the lipid panel are considered along with other known risk factors for heart disease to develop a plan for treatment and follow-up. Depending on the results and other risk factors, treatment options may involve lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise or lipid-lowering medications such as statins.
The lipid panel measures cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol as well as calculates low density lipoprotein cholesterol . Triglycerides are a form of fat and a major source of energy for the body.
According to 2002 guidelines from the NCEP Adult Treatment Panel III, the desirable ranges for the components of the lipid panel are:
- Cholesterol <200 mg/dL
- HDL-cholesterol > 40 mg/dL
- LDL-cholesterol <100 mg/dL â this is considered optimal; levels will depend on the number and type of risk factors present and reason for testing.
- Triglycerides <150 mg/dL
Some other information may be reported as part of the lipid panel. These parameters are calculated from the results of the tests identified above.
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Heart Attack Or Stroke
Because early treatment of heart attack and stroke is vital, treatments will often be applied before a diagnosis is actually confirmed. For instance, aspirin is given to suspected heart attack and stroke patients to help prevent further blood clotting.
If you have a heart attack or stroke, a quick review of symptoms and medical history will be conducted. If it is a stroke, you will likely get a CT scan of your brain. This type of scan can show bleeding in the brain. You might also undergo an MRI. The list below covers some of the common stroke treatments.
- Clot-busting medications
- Tissue plasminogen activator a protein to break down blood clots
- Mechanical clot removal
Stroke treatment depends on the area of the brain involved and the amount of tissue damage sustained.
If you were to experience a heart attack, it would be a different approach to confirming the diagnosis. After noting the symptoms and family history, an electrocardiogram would check the health of your heart muscle. Blood tests would also be taken to check for enzymes that can indicate that you have suffered a heart attack. Additionally, a cardiac catheterization test can check for blockages. See some of the treatment options for heart attack below.
- Clot-busting medications
Symptoms Of Heart Attack
Heart attack symptoms may occur suddenly or may build steadily over a period of hours . The most common symptoms of heart attack include:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Unexplained pain in arm or shoulders
- Unexplained pain in back, neck, or jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness, dizziness, or fainting
A heart attack may also be accompanied by unusual tiredness, nausea, or vomiting; research shows these symptoms might be more common in women than men. Often, these signs are mistaken for other ailments such as chest pain, heartburn, or even a gallbladder attack.
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Heart Attack Risk Factors
- Age Men over 45 year old and women over 55 years old are at increased risk
- Family history Risk is greater if one or more parent had heart disease
- Race Risk of heart disease is greater among African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans
- Gender Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women
Despite their commonalities, stroke and heart attack have very different symptoms because they affect different organs:
What Other Tests May Be Used To Assess Cardiac Risk
Some other tests that may be used to assess cardiac risk include:
- High-sensitivity C-reactive protein : Studies have shown that measuring CRP with a high sensitivity test can help identify risk of CVD. This test is different from the regular CRP test, which detects elevated levels of CRP in people with infections and inflammatory diseases. The hs-CRP test measures CRP that is in the normal range for healthy people. It can be used to distinguish people with low normal levels from people with high normal levels. High normal levels of hs-CRP in otherwise healthy individuals have been found to be predictive of the future risk of heart attack, stroke, sudden cardiac death, and peripheral arterial disease, even when lipid levels are within acceptable ranges. Several groups have recommended that this test be used for people with moderate risk of heart attack over the next 10 years. However, there is not a consensus on how the test should be used otherwise, nor on how frequently the test should be repeated.
- Lipoprotein A ): Lp is a lipoprotein consisting of an LDL molecule with another protein ) attached to it. Lp is similar to LDL-C but does not respond to typical strategies to lower LDL-C such as diet, exercise, or most lipid-lowering drugs. Since the level of Lp appears to be genetically determined and not easily altered, the presence of a high level of Lp may be used to identify individuals who might benefit from more aggressive treatment of other risk factors.
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Stroke Vs Heart Attack: How Do You Know If Youre Having A Stroke Or Heart Attack
Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onJune 26, 2017
Understanding the differences between a stroke and a heart attack can help you get the appropriate help. They are both medical emergencies and can alter a persons life, yet a stroke and heart attack are not exactly the same.
While they may be related, there is a difference between a stroke and a heart attack. Sadly, about every 43 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a heart attack. Approximately 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year. So, how do we explain what distinguishes a stroke from a heart attack? Well, a heart attack happens when blood flow to part of the heart becomes blocked. Without oxygenated blood, heart muscles start to die. However, in the case of a stroke, the brain is impacted. The brain attack occurs when blood flow and oxygen to the brain is cut off. This can take place if a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets clogged or bursts.
Both heart attacks and stroke are leading causes of death in the United States and Canada. Quick treatment for both types of attacks is crucial for long-term positive outcome.