Friday, May 24, 2024

How Do Heart Attacks Work

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Change Behaviors That May Hurt Your Heart

British Heart Foundation – How does a healthy heart work?
  • Eat healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods

  • Eat less fat from meats, dairy, and processed foods talk to your doctor about how much and which types of fat you should eat

  • Lose weight if you need to

  • Stay active by using weights or walking

  • Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugsthese can be hard to stop, so talk to your doctor or a counselor about how to get help

How Does Stroke Affect Circulation

A stroke is a sudden interruption of the blood supply to the brain. The middle cerebral artery is most often blocked during a stroke. The internal carotid arteries form the anterior circulation and the vertebral / basilar arteries supply the posterior circulation of the brain.

What happens to the circulatory system during a stroke?

It affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood it needs, so it starts to die.

What happens in a massive heart attack?

A massive heart attack affects a large portion of the heart muscle, or causes a large amount of heart damage. This can happen if the blockage in a coronary artery occurs in a large artery that supplies a large portion of the heart completely blocks blood flow to the heart or lasts for a long period of time.

What Is Coronary Artery Disease

Most heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease . This is when a gradual build-up of fatty streaks form in the coronary arteries. These are the arteries that deliver oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. The build-up of fatty streaks makes the coronary arteries narrow and stiffen over time.

As the coronary arteries narrow, it becomes more difficult for oxygenated blood to reach the heart muscle, sometimes causing pain and discomfort known as angina.

If a piece of plaque cracks, it may cause a blood clot to form and block a coronary artery, cutting off the blood supply to a part of the heart muscle. This causes a heart attack.

The heart attack symptoms you feel during a heart attack are caused by your heart muscle being starved of oxygen. This prevents your heart from beating as normal.

Also Check: Sudden Increase In Heart Rate

Cardiovascular Disease And Its Impact On Work: Key Points

  • Cardiovascular disease in the population at large but also in the population at work is common

  • In a study of self reported illness, 23 million employees in the UK report an illness caused by or made worse by work leading to 3.3 million working days lost 80 000 are said to be due to CVD

  • The impact of work on health and health on work is the basis of occupational medicine

  • Cardiologists need to consider the impact of work on their patients case management, treatment, and prevention strategies

A few studies looked at the impact of noise exposure on other cardiac risk factorsfor example, cholesterol values. Results are not definitive. A simple study found a borderline significant relation in men between industrial noise exposure and ST depression in ambulatory ECG monitoring. It is important to remember that noise exposure in the workplace remains common and further research in this area is important.


Vibration can be segmental or whole body . Evidence is strong that vibration of either type has acute effects on the arterial intima which may cause impact on the cardiovascular system.

Work involving electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation has had postulated links to cardiovascular disease but no definite link has been demonstrated so far. Further research continues.

Why Should I Call 911 If I Can Drive Myself To The Hospital

Statins and the Prevention of Heart Disease.

If you have any symptoms of a heart attack, its best to call 911 for multiple reasons:

  • First responders can do some of the early testing and treatment for a heart attack on the way to the hospital. This can speed up the overall diagnosis and treatment process.
  • If you come into the hospital by ambulance, you usually have more immediate access to care. When youre having a heart attack, every second matters.
  • Heart attacks can cause your heart to beat irregularly or stop entirely, either of which could cause you to pass out. If youre in an ambulance when that happens, first responders can react immediately to stabilize you. You also wont have to worry about passing out behind the wheel and causing a crash that could have devastating consequences for yourself or others.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A blocked artery needs immediate care to prevent permanent heart damage. You may think that if your symptoms are not intense and severe, youre not having a heart attack. However, its best to get your symptoms checked. Calling 911, rather than driving yourself or having someone else drive you, can be even more life-saving than you think. Time saved is heart muscle saved, and that means you have a better chance of a good outcome.

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What Is A Heart Attack

A myocardial infarction is an extremely dangerous condition caused by a lack of blood flow to your heart muscle. The lack of blood flow can occur because of many different factors but is usually related to a blockage in one or more of your hearts arteries. Without blood flow, the affected heart muscle will begin to die. If blood flow isnt restored quickly, a heart attack can cause permanent heart damage and death.

A heart attack is a life-threatening emergency. If you suspect you or someone you’re with is having a heart attack, do not hesitate to call 911 . Time is critical in treating a heart attack, and a delay of even a few minutes can result in permanent heart damage or death.

How common are heart attacks?

New heart attacks happen to about 635,000 people in the U.S. each year. About 300,000 people a year have a second heart attack. About one in seven deaths in the U.S. is due to coronary heart disease, which includes heart attacks.

When Should I See My Doctor

  • get worse quickly, or
  • last longer than 10 minutes
  • If calling triple zero does not work on your mobile, try calling 112. Early treatment could save a life.

    See your doctor regularly to manage your general health, test for heart disease risk factors and help you take steps to prevent a heart attack.

    Recommended Reading: When Should I Be Worried About Heart Palpitations

    Q Do All Heart Attacks Have The Same Symptoms

  • Most heart attacks start slowly and build up gradually over a few minutes. Heart attacks can be anticipated as mild discomfort or pain, including pressure,tightness, fullness or radiating pain to the neck, jaw, or arm, and is usually associated with shortness of breath, nausea, sweating and paleness. People with diabetes and women may not have the typical symptoms of chest discomfort and may have only a few of the associated features
  • Watch How To Help Someone Who May Be Having A Heart Attack

    What causes a heart attack?

    What is angina?

    Angina is a tight feeling in the chest.

    The tight feeling happens because the arteries narrow, restricting the blood supply to the heart. Angina often happens when a person is exercising or excited. Symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath but, unlike a heart attack, symptoms ease with rest and taking prescribed medication.

    Most people diagnosed with angina manage it with tablets or spray medication. During an angina attack, the pain should reduce if the person rests and takes their prescribed medication. Call 999 if the pain doesnt reduce after two doses of medication, as they may be having a heart attack.

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    Heart Attack Testing: Faq

    Q: Why do I have to submit to a bunch of tests?A: Tests help the doctor determine if a heart attack occurred, how much your heart was damaged and what degree of coronary artery disease you might have. The tests screen your heart and help the doctor determine what treatment and lifestyle changes will keep your heart healthy and prevent serious future medical events.

    Q: Whats the difference between invasive and non-invasive tests?A: Non-invasive cardiac tests measure your hearts activity through external imaging and electrocardiography. Invasive tests include drawing and testing samples of your blood, and inserting and threading a thin hollow tube called a catheter into a blood vessel to get an inside view.

    Q: How can I learn more about the tests that may be performed?A: These diagnostic tests and procedures can reveal if you had a heart attack, how much damage was done and what degree of coronary artery disease you have.

    Q: What types of treatment will I get after the hospital diagnoses my heart attack?A: If youve had a heart attack, you may have already had undergone certain procedures to help you survive your heart attack. Those same procedures can help to diagnose your condition. Such procedures include:

    Learn First Aid For Someone Who May Be Having A Heart Attack

    1. The person may have persistent, vice-like chest pain, which may spread to their arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

    This pain happens because a blockage stops blood getting to the heart muscle. The pain will not ease with rest.

    2. Call 999 as soon as possible.

    If you cant call 999, get someone else to do it. The person needs medical help as soon as possible. A heart attack can be very serious and needs immediate attention.

    3. Help the person to sit down.

    Ensure they are comfortable for example, sitting on the floor and leaning against a chair or a wall. Sitting will ease the strain on the heart. Sitting them on the floor also means they are less likely to hurt themselves if they collapse.

    4. Reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.

    Also Check: How To Decrease Resting Heart Rate

    Managing Heart Attack Risk Factors

    Here are ways to manage your risks for a heart attack:

    • Look at which risk factors apply to you, then take steps to eliminate or reduce them.
    • Learn about high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These may be “silent killers.”
    • Change risk factors that aren’t inherited by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out how to do so.
    • Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if you have risk factors that can’t be changed. These can be managed with medicine and lifestyle changes.

    Is All Chest Pain A Heart Attack

    Heart Beating Too Fast or Slow? You May Have Atrial Fibrillation &  Be ...

    No. One very common type of chest pain is called angina. Its a recurring discomfort that usually lasts only a few minutes. Angina occurs when your heart muscle doesnt get the blood supply and oxygen that it needs.

    The difference between angina and a heart attack is that angina attacks dont permanently damage the heart muscle.

    There are different types of angina, including:

    • Stable angina, or angina pectoris Stable angina often occurs during exercise or emotional stress when your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your heart muscle needs more oxygen. Learn more about stable angina.
    • Unstable angina, sometimes referred to as acute coronary syndrome Unstable angina occurs while you may be resting or sleeping, or with little physical exertion. It comes as a surprise. Unstable angina can lead to a heart attack and it should be treated as an emergency. Learn more about unstable angina.

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    Symptoms/prognostic Implications For An Employed Patient

    There will be differences in both complaints by the patient about his symptoms and also the significance of those symptoms according to whether a patient works or not and also according to the job that he does. Under and over reporting of symptoms in CVD is common. Over reporting may occur where an individual feels unsafe at work, but more commonly a worker will under report for fear of losing his job. Denial has been reported in professional drivers. Equally, workers with symptoms but who are denying them often move from a high risk job to a lower risk job. This can be a clue to subclinical disease as demonstrated by the high cardiac risk seen among workers who have recently moved from shift to day work this represents an individuals attempt to help himself move away from the cardionoxious environmentthe so called healthy worker effect.

    The common symptoms for heart disease are the same for the worker as they are for the non-worker, but for the worker they can have both public and personal impact if the individual is in a safety critical job.

    These symptoms are:

    • chest pain, angina, or acute myocardial infarction

    • breathlessness and fatigue from heart failure

    • loss of consciousness or temporary aberration caused by arrhythmias.

    How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Having A Heart Attack

    Although there are several risk factors that you cant control, there are many ways you can help yourself and reduce your risk of a heart attack. These include:

    • Schedule a checkup: Find a primary care provider and see them at least once a year for a checkup or wellness visit. An annual checkup can catch many of the early warning signs of heart disease, including signs that you can’t feel. These include your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and more.
    • Quit tobacco products: This includes smokeless tobacco and all vaping products.
    • Exercise regularly: Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a week.
    • Eat a healthy diet: Examples include the Mediterranean or Dash diets. A plant-based diet approach is an excellent alternative.
    • Maintain a healthy weight: Your primary care provider can advise you on a healthy goal weight and provide you resources and guidance to help you reach that goal.
    • Manage your existing health conditions: This includes high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes.
    • Reduce your stress: Consider techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation.
    • Take your medications: Dont just take medications when you remember to or when you have a doctors appointment coming up.
    • Keep all your medical appointments: Seeing your healthcare providers regularly can help uncover heart-related issues or other medical problems you didn’t know you had. This can also help treat problems sooner rather than later.

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    Q Can Stress Cause Heart Attack

  • Stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, drinking alcohol, physical inactivity and overeating. Our body releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes breathing and heart rate to speed up and blood pressure to rise. These reactions prepare us to deal with the situation the “fight or flight” response.When stress is constant, body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time. Although the link between stress and heart disease isnt clear, chronic stress can increase blood pressure and may damage the artery walls.
  • What Are The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

    How do statins prevent heart attacks and strokes?

    Heart attacks can have a number of symptoms, some of which are more common than others. The symptoms you have are also influenced by your sex, as with men and women being more likely to have different heart attack symptoms.

    Common heart attack symptoms

    Symptoms most often described by people having a heart attack:

    • Chest pain . This symptom can be mild and feel like discomfort or heaviness, or it can be severe and feel like crushing pain. It may start in your chest and spread to other areas like your left arm , shoulder, neck, jaw, back or down toward your waist.
    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing.
    • Nausea or stomach discomfort. Heart attacks can often be mistaken for indigestion.
    • Heart palpitations.
    • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or passing out.

    Heart attack symptoms in women

    Medical research in recent years has shown that women may have the above symptoms, but also have a higher chance of experiencing symptoms different from those listed above.Women are less likely to describe the following:

    • Chest pain, especially in the center of the chest.
    • Discomfort that feels like indigestion.

    Women are more likely to describe the following:

    • Shortness of breath, fatigue and insomnia that started before the heart attack.
    • Pain in the back, shoulders, neck, arms or abdomen.
    • Nausea and vomiting.

    Read Also: What Type Of Pain In Arm Heart Attack

    How Heart Attack Symptoms May Differ For People With Diabetes

    Research has shown that people with diabetes are more likely to have silent heart attacks compared to people who dont have diabetes. In other words, if you have diabetes, you may not experience the typical symptoms associated with a heart attack, especially chest pain.

    Many studies have been done to better understand why people with diabetes are less likely to experience chest pain and other heart attack symptoms. One explanation is that the development of neuropathy a type of nerve damage thats a common complication of diabetes may interfere with the ability to feel chest pain caused by a heart attack.

    According to research , approximately 55 percent of people with diabetes have coronary artery disease. Having impaired blood flow in the coronary arteries is a major risk factor for a heart attack.

    Because of this risk, its important that people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels under control, get frequent blood tests to check cholesterol levels, and work closely with a doctor to ensure their diabetes is managed well.

    The Nature Of The Individual

    Psychosocial factors may play a much bigger role in whether an individual returns to work than medical/clinical factors. Research has shown some useful pointers regarding the likelihood of an individual returning to work after a cardiac event.

    • Whatever the prognosis of the CVD, the longer an individual is off sick, the harder it is to return them to work

    • If the cardiac event happened at work, return to work can be more difficult

    • Agethe older the patient, especially if a pension is available, the more unlikely it is he will return to work

    • Type of jobwhere the job is seen as unrewarding/unfulfilling, a patient is less motivated to return to work. In addition if the job is seen as dangerous or damaging to health, return will be more difficult

    • Suitability for redeployment/retrainingwhere redeployment is difficult to achieve because of certain individual factors such as education, adaptability or even personality, the likelihood of returning that individual to work is reduced

    • Attitude of employer

    • fear of further illness at work and subsequent litigation can act as a barrier to return to work many employers take a defensive stance in these situations

    • failure to consider rehabilitation/redeployment will make return to work more difficult

    • the existence of a cardionoxious work environment in the organisation which can be physical or related to the culture of the organisation will hinder a return to work

  • Attitude of the individual

  • benefits of the sick role

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