What A Mild Heart Attack Means
A mild heart attack is a common way of referring to what physicians call a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction, or NSTEMI. .
In this type of heart attack, blood flow through one of the coronary arteries was partially blocked, limiting the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.
If you were told youve had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart didnt suffer much damage and still pumps normally, Dr. Campbell says.
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:
Obesity And Belly Fat
Being overweight or having obesity can make it harder to manage your diabetes and raise your risk for many health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. If you are overweight, a healthy eating plan with fewer calories and more physical activity often will lower your blood glucose levels and reduce your need for medicines.
Excess belly fat around your waist, even if you are not overweight, can raise your chances of developing heart disease.
You have excess belly fat if your waist measures
- more than 40 inches and you are a man
- more than 35 inches and you are a woman
Recommended Reading: Can Flonase Cause Heart Palpitations
What The Study Found
About 20,000 patients were scored in the top 25th percentile, representing well-resourced neighborhoods, and about 12,000 were scored in the bottom 75th percentile, representing under-resourced neighborhoods.
Based on an average of 5 years of follow-up data, the results revealed that people living in under-resourced neighborhoods were 5 percent more likely to die of any cause within 5 years after a heart attack.
The research also revealed significant health disparities that seemed to vary based on neighborhood quality and potentially by race.
While Black people from well-resourced neighborhoods had outcomes close to those of white people from similar neighborhoods, Black people from under-resourced neighborhoods were 19 percent more likely to die than white patients from well-resourced neighborhoods and 14 percent more likely to die than white people from under-resourced neighborhoods.
There was no significant difference in the likelihood of death between white people from well-resourced neighborhoods and white people from under-resourced neighborhoods.
The study highlights the influence of environment on an individuals health and shines a spotlight on how factors like poverty affect outcomes.
The Top Cause Of Death In 2020 In The Us Was Heart Disease
Heart attack deaths in 2020 were just as great in their number. Since February 2020, coronavirus has taken its toll. Actually, it ranked up to the top three causes of death in the US. Nevertheless, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the country. It is then followed by cancer and COVID-19.
Recommended Reading: Does Benadryl Lower Heart Rate
Your Heart Rate Isnt Always Predictable
How this cardiac event affects the heart rate isnt always predictable.
Certain medications may slow your heart rate
For example, if youre on a medication that slows your heart rate, such as a beta-blocker for heart disease, your heart rate may remain slow during a heart attack. Or if you have a type of heart rhythm disturbance called bradycardia, in which your heart rate is perpetually slower than normal, a heart attack may do nothing to increase the rate.
There are certain types of heart attacks that can lead to an abnormal slowing of the heart rate because they affect the electrical tissue cells of the heart.
Tachycardia may speed your heart rate
On the other hand, if you have tachycardia, in which your heart always or frequently beats abnormally fast, then that pattern could continue during a heart attack. Or, certain types of heart attacks can cause the heart rate to increase.
Finally, if you have some other condition thats causing your heart to beat fast, such as sepsis or infection, then it could be causing the stress on your heart rather than being a result of the blockage to blood flow.
Many people live with tachycardia and have no other symptoms or complications. However, if you consistently have a rapid resting heart rate, you should absolutely have your cardiovascular health evaluated.
- a vague sense of impending doom
If you think you or a loved one may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Could You Have A Heart Attack And Not Know It
- By , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter
Heres a surprising fact: nearly half of people who have a heart attack dont realize it at the time. These so-called silent heart attacks are only diagnosed after the event, when a recording of the hearts electrical activity or another test reveals evidence of damage to the heart.
One explanation for this phenomenon may be a higher-than-average tolerance for pain. Some people mistake their symptoms as indigestion or muscle pain, while others may feel pain, but in parts of their upper body other than the center of the chest, says Dr. Kenneth Rosenfield, who heads the vascular medicine and intervention section at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
High Total Cholesterol Doubles The Risk Of Heart Disease
People with high total cholesterol levels have approximately twice the risk of heart disease. Thus, theres an increased heart attack possibility percentage. Thats why one should try their best to manage cholesterol levelslimit alcohol intake, exercise for at least 30 minutes, avoid saturated fat, and quit smoking.
What Happens During A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when one or more of your coronary arteries suddenly becomes blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle and damaging it causing a heart attack. Lets back up and learn more about your coronary arteries.
Your coronary arteries are a network of blood vessels that surround your heart muscle and supply it with blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. Your heart muscle needs this continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Over time, sometimes one or more of your coronary arteries narrow because of a buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits on the inner walls. This is called atherosclerosis. Sometimes this plaque ruptures and forms a clot within the artery, which restricts blood flow to your heart. Blocked blood flow cuts off the needed supply of oxygen and nutrients, damaging or destroying that area of heart muscle.
Don’t Miss: Does Tylenol Increase Heart Rate
Learn To Manage Stress
Managing diabetes is not always easy. Feeling stressed, sad, lonely, or angry is common when you are living with diabetes. You may know what to do to stay healthy but may have trouble sticking with your plan over time. Long-term stress can raise your blood glucose and blood pressure, but you can learn ways to lower your stress. Try deep breathing, gardening, taking a walk, doing yoga, talking with a loved one, working on a hobby, or listening to your favorite music. Learn more about healthy ways to cope with stress.
Clinical Contributors To This Story
David Landers, M.D. contributes to topics such as Interventional Cardiology.
You may think of COVID-19 as a disease that involves the lungs, since many people experience shortness of breath or trouble breathing, but a growing body of research shows that COVID-19 can attack the heart, as well.
Researchers are discovering that a significant number of people who recover from COVID-19 have heart damage caused by the virus due to inflammation, even those whose illnesses were mild enough for them to avoid going to the hospital.
In one German study, 76 percent of people with COVID-19 showed evidence of biomarker damage to their hearts that was similar to damage caused by heart attacks. COVID-19 was also found to cause ongoing inflammation of the heart muscle in 60 percent of people who recovered from the virus. Researchers believe that the inflammation may lead to heart failure in a portion of the population that was previously healthy.
Other research has shown that COVID-19 may increase the risk of blood clots, which may cause heart damage or heart attacks in some people.
Also Check: Does Benadryl Lower Heart Rate
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Vs Men
Women are more likely than men to have silent heart attacks and heart attacks without chest pain. Heart attacks are also more likely to start when a woman is at rest or experiencing mental stress.
That means its especially important for women to watch out for symptoms like shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, nausea or vomiting, or pain in the jaw, arms or back.
Also, we now know that young women are particularly prone to a type of heart event called a spontaneous coronary artery dissection , which we talk about in more depth below.
How Long Is Person Expected To Live After A Stent Is Inserted
Dr. Charanjit Rihal answers the question: ‘Life Expectancy After Stent?’
— Question: How long is person expected to live after a stent is inserted?
Answer: How long a patient is expected to live after getting a coronary stent inserted depends. It depends primarily on the underlying heart disease, age, and medical condition of the patient. A younger patient, for example, who has a strong heart and has never experienced a heart attack, will be expected to live a full and active lifespan. On the other hand, someone who perhaps is in their seventies or eighties, and has a weak heart from previous multiple heart attacks, and has other serious medical problems, their life expectancy of course will be shorter after a stent insertion.
It doesn’t mean the stent shouldn’t be put in, because the most important reason to do an angioplasty and to put in a stent is to make patients feel better and very often, even with serious medical co-morbidities or other medical illnesses, we can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life even towards the end of their lifespan, and in that circumstance that would be a good reason to put in a coronary stent.
Read Also: How To Calculate Max Hr
What Does Depression Have To Do With A Heart Attack
Depression is common after a heart attack. As many as 1 out of every 3 people who have had a heart attack report feelings of depression. People with a higher risk of depression after a heart attack include:
- People who have had depression before.
- People who feel alone and without social or emotional support.
Many people who have depression dont recognize it. They dont seek help or get treatment. Being depressed can make it harder for you to recover physically. Depression can be treated.
Some people have anxiety after a heart attack, fearing it will happen again. Talk to your doctor about your feelings so that you can manage or reduce your anxiety.
Critical Heart Attack Statistics For 2021
- One in five heart attacks is silent.
- With the coronavirus pandemic, peoples chances of dying from heart attacks have doubled.
- The leading cause of death in 2020 in the US was heart disease.
- Annually, 805,000 people in the US have a heart attack.
- Coronary heart disease affects 1 in 13 White men.
- High blood pressure causes 47% of coronary heart diseases.
- To prevent heart attacks, women shouldnt have more than one alcoholic drink a day.
- 26% of women die within a year of a heart attack.
- People who have suffered heart failure live ten years less than those who havent.
- 7% of the hospital visits related to snow shoveling are due to heart problems, mainly heart attacks.
Also Check: How Accurate Is Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate
Risk Factors For A Silent Heart Attack In Women
Still, Ekery says, the risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as those for a recognized heart attack, and:
A silent heart attack can be just as dangerous as its more obvious counterpart, says Ekery. Because the event often leaves scarring and damage to the heart, it puts the person at greater risk of other heart problems. And because the person didnt know to seek treatment, blood flow to the heart might not have been restored early on, and no medications were administered, so the impact could potentially be greater.
What Is A Heart Attack
A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle doesnt get enough blood.
The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.
Coronary artery disease is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm, or sudden contraction, of a coronary artery that can stop blood flow to the heart muscle.
About 50% Of Americans Have At Least One Risk Factor For Heart Disease
Heart attack facts remark that there are top three factors for heart disease. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Astoundingly, about half of Americans have at least one of those factors.
Some other behaviors and conditions that could increase the risk are obesity, unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and diabetes. Following this, one could choose to resort to weight loss pills or appetite suppressants, if need be.
Heart Disease Deaths Vary By Sex Race And Ethnicity
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, including African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, and white men. For women from the Pacific Islands and Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic women, heart disease is second only to cancer.5
Below are the percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2015, listed by ethnicity, race, and sex.5
|Race of Ethnic Group|
Don’t Miss: Can Constipation Cause Heart Palpitations
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Heart Attack
A heart attack is a life threatening medical condition in which the blood flowing to the heart suddenly stops due to a blocked coronary artery. Damage to surrounding tissues occurs immediately.
Recovering from a heart attack ultimately depends on the severity of the condition as well as how quickly its treated.
Immediately after the event, you can expect to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, or until your condition is stable.
Overall, it takes several weeks and possibly up to several months to recover from a heart attack. Your individual recovery is dependent on:
- your overall condition
Despite its name, a widowmaker heart attack can affect women, too.
With this type of heart attack, you may be in the hospital for a few extra days, especially if you need to have surgery to open up the LAD artery.
A low-fat, low-calorie diet has been proven to help prevent the risk of a heart attack. However, if youve already had a heart attack, eating right is simply a must to help prevent future occurrences.
One helpful eating plan is called the dietary approaches to stop hypertension, or DASH.
The overall goal of this diet is to limit sodium, red meat, and saturated fats while focusing on potassium-rich sources of fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats, fish, and plant oils.
The Mediterranean diet is similar to DASH in that they both emphasize plant-based foods.
Overall, aim to:
What Are The Warning Signs Of Heart Attack And Stroke
- pain or pressure in your chest that lasts longer than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
- pain or discomfort in one or both of your arms or shoulders, or your back, neck, or jaw
- shortness of breath
- indigestion or nausea
- feeling very tired
Treatment works best when it is given right away. Warning signs can be different in different people. You may not have all the listed symptoms.
Women may experience chest pain, nausea, and vomiting feel very tired and have pain that spreads to the back, neck, throat, arms, shoulders, or jaw. People with diabetes-related nerve damage may not notice any chest pain.
If you have angina, its important to know how and when to seek medical treatment.
- weakness or numbness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
- confusion, or trouble talking or understanding
- dizziness, loss of balance, or trouble walking
- trouble seeing out of one or both eyes
- sudden, severe headache
If you have any one of these warning signs, call 9-1-1. You can help prevent permanent damage by getting to a hospital within an hour of a stroke.