Prevention Of A Heart Attack
You can help prevent a heart attack by managing certain risk factors and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Its important to keep tabs on your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight, and to take action when any of these reaches an unhealthy level. If you have diabetes, its also important to manage your blood sugar well.
A heart-healthy lifestyle involves not smoking, getting enough physical activity, and following a healthy diet thats rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, healthy fats, and lean . You should drink in moderation, if at all, and try to reduce or manage stress.
What Happens To The Coronary Artery In Atherosclerosis
In coronary artery disease , injury to the intima of the artery leads to the formation of plaques, which are regions of thickening on the inner lining of the artery. How then do the plaques form? In response to the injury, the smooth muscle cells from the media and perhaps from the adventitia move into the intima. In the intima, these SMCs reproduce themselves and make connective tissue. These processes of migration, division, and synthesis, which collectively are referred to as intimal proliferation , cause thickening of the intima. When cholesterol, other fats, and inflammatory cells, such as white blood cells, enter the proliferating, thickened intima, the result is an atherosclerotic plaque. Then, as these plaques grow, they accumulate scar tissue and abundant calcium. Hence, the plaques are often hard, which is why atherosclerosis is sometimes referred to as “hardening of the arteries.”
Complications Of A Heart Attack
Complications of a heart attack can be serious and possibly life threatening.
- arrhythmias these are abnormal heartbeats. 1 type is where the heart begins beating faster and faster, then stops beating
- cardiogenic shock where the heart’s muscles are severely damaged and can no longer contract properly to supply enough blood to maintain many body functions
- heart rupture where the heart’s muscles, walls or valves split apart
These complications can happen quickly after a heart attack and are a leading cause of death.
Many people die suddenly from a complication of a heart attack before reaching hospital or within the 1st month after a heart attack.
The outlook often depends on:
- age serious complications are more likely as you get older
- the severity of the heart attack how much of the heart’s muscle has been damaged during the attack
- how long it took before a person received treatment treatment for a heart attack should begin as soon as possible
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Research And Statistics: How Many People Have Heart Attacks
Someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent, meaning that the person isnt aware of it and doesnt seek immediate medical attention.
About 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack each year, the CDC estimates. Out of these, about 605,000 are the persons first heart attack, while 200,000 are in people who have previously had one.
The average age for a first heart attack is 65.6 for men and 72.0 for women, according to the American Heart Association.
Fewer than 10 percent of heart attacks are fatal, according to Harvard Medical School. This rate has dropped in recent decades, likely due to wider use of treatments in the early stages of a heart attack.
Still, the broader category of heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 647,000 deaths each year, or 1 in 4 deaths.
The burden of heart disease also varies widely across U.S. states and territories. The rate of death from cardiovascular disease is nearly twice as high in Mississippi, which has the highest rate, compared with Puerto Rico, which has the lowest rate. Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana have the next highest rates of death from cardiovascular disease, while Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have the next lowest.
Where It May Hurt
During a heart attack, the location of the pain can also vary quite a bit from person to person, notes Dr. Rosenfield. It may occur in the arm, shoulder, neck, jaw, or elsewhere in the upper half of the body. “I had one patient who had earlobe pain, and another who felt pain in his wrist,” says Dr. Rosenfield. Other nonclassic symptoms people often dont attribute to a heart attack include nausea, vomiting, and weakness.
During his career, Dr. Rosenfield has seen many thousands of people whove had heart attacks. “Theres no question that women are more likely to experience nonclassic heart attack symptoms, but its important to remember that men can have those symptoms, too.”
Heart attack symptoms
Although the most common sign of a heart attack in both men and women is the classic one discomfort in the center of the chest that spreads through the upper body this symptom doesnt always occur. Some people experience nonclassic symptoms, and these may be slightly more frequent in women and in older people.
Can Stress Lead To A Heart Attack
Many people underestimate the impact that stress can have on the body, especially the heart.
Take a moment to view the American Heart Association video about what may seem like a typical morning family routine:
This portrayal may seem a little over the top, but many of us take pride in being able to accomplish a multitude of tasks and trying to be everything to everyone, impacting us emotionally and physically.
Although several traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, affect women and men, other factors can play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.
Specific heart disease risk factors specific to women include:
Research is ongoing in other heart disease risk factors in women.
Is heart disease something only older women should worry about?
Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously. Women under 65, and especially those with a family history of heart disease, need to pay close attention to heart disease risk factors.
What are the differences of heart disease symptoms in women?
Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain.
Mental stress may often trigger these symptoms, which could include:
- Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in one or both arms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unusual fatigue
Don’t wait until it’s too late
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How Long Is Person Expected To Live After A Stent Is Inserted
Dr. Charanjit Rihal answers the question: âLife Expectancy After Stent?â
âQuestion: 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 doesnât mean the stent shouldnât 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 patientâs 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.
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Heart Disease Occurs More Often As Canadians Age
The prevalence of diagnosed ischemic heart disease increases as people age and is higher among men than women in all age groups.
Similar patterns are observed for acute myocardial infarction and heart failure . For instance, the prevalence and incidence of acute myocardial infarction among men 2544 years of age are on average about four times higher than those of women in the same age group. Nonetheless, as women and men get older than 65 years old, the gap in prevalence and incidence lessens. In fact, in 2012/13, there is almost twice as many women aged 85 years and older newly diagnosed with ischemic heart disease than men of the same age. As women live longer than men, they are more likely to be diagnosed with a heart condition in the old age.
Figure 4: Prevalence of ischemic heart disease among people aged 20 years and older, by sex and age group, Canada,* 2012/13
* Data from Yukon were not available. Notes: The 95% confidence interval shows an estimated range of values which is likely to include the true value 19 times out of 20.: Public Health Agency of Canada, using Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System data files contributed by provinces and territories, May 2016.
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.
Heart Blockage Normal Coronary Arteries
There are three arteries that run over the surface of the heart and supply it with blood . There is one artery on the right side, and two arteries on the left side. The one on the right is known as the right coronary. On the left side, which is the main side, we have the left anterior descending that runs down the front of the heart and supplies the front and main wall, and then the left circumflex that supplies the sidewall. If you look carefully, a major artery called the left main artery supplies the LAD and the circumflex. The left main artery and even the LAD artery are so important that critical blockages in these arteries are known as the Widow Maker!
The picture above shows what we call angiographically normal coronary arteries. The artery appears smooth with no irregularity. The reason we call it that is that although it looks normal by angiogram, and there is clearly no significant heart blockage, there may be deposition of plaque in the walls of the artery that cant be seen on this test. That can still progress over time, and its why patients at risk of coronary artery disease should still pay close attention to minimizing the risk factors for this despite no visual heart blockage and an apparently normal angiogram.
Understand Your Risks To Prevent A Heart Attack
Knowledge is power. And in the case of a heart attack, it can literally save your life.
Research has identified factors that increase a persons risk for coronary heart disease and heart attack.
The more risk factors you have, the higher your chance of for developing coronary heart disease.
There are 3 different categories of risk factors you need to watch out for:
1. Major risk factors: These factors significantly increase the risk of heart disease.
2. Modifiable risk factors: These are risk factors that can be controlled with medication or lifestyle changes.
3. Contributing risk factors: These factors are correlated with an increase risk of heart disease, but their significance has not been studied yet.
So were going to go over each risk factor and what you can do to prevent it:
How Do Mild Heart Attacks Affect The Heart
Mayfair Mar 01, 2021
A heart attack occurs when a blockage impedes the circulation of blood to the heart. If the blockage is not removed, heart tissue begins to die from lack of oxygen.
Heart attacks can vary in severity from mild to massive. A mild heart attack often doesnt cause much permanent heart damage or only affects a relatively small portion of the heart muscle. It could be the result of a blockage that occurs in a small coronary artery, or the blockage does not completely block blood flow to the heart or it only lasts a brief time.
A massive heart attack is the opposite. It affects a large portion of the heart muscle, or causes a large amount of damage. In this case the blockage affects a large coronary artery, completely blocks blood flow, or lasts for a long period of time.
Whatever its size or effects, a heart attack should always be taken seriously. Even a mild heart attack that leaves no permanent damage can still be an indication that you are at risk for future heart attacks.
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.
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What Is A Cardiac Stent
Cardiac stents are small devices used to open narrow or blocked arteries. Coronary arteries, where stents are most commonly used, deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Limited blood flow to the heart can put patients at risk for a heart attack, and cardiac stents can be used as both a response to this risk and a prevention method.
When used appropriately, cardiac stents can save lives and help patients recover from heart procedures. Unfortunately, when used unnecessarily or incorrectly, cardiac stents can cause severe damage.
Can Viagra Cause A Heart Attack
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
If you struggle with erectile dysfunction , youre not alone. In fact, ED is the most common form of sexual dysfunction, affecting as many as one-third of all men.
Though the knowledge that youre not alone in your struggle may not make you feel better, the knowledge that erectile dysfunction is treatable certainly should.
There are several FDA-approved ED medications available and, while they may not cure erectile dysfunction, they can help you achieve and maintain an erection firm enough for satisfying sex.
Like most erectile dysfunction drugs, Viagra is only available by prescription. Though Viagra is widely considered safe when used properly, you may have heard that ED drugs like this can make existing heart disease worse or even cause heart attack.
Below, weve delved into the subject of Viagra and its effect on your heart. Well address concerns about Viagra interacting with heart medication and whether it is safe for men with heart disease. Finally, well answer the question of whether Viagra can cause a heart attack.
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The Next Most Important Question:
Who has the expertise to help me get better?
We specialize in high risk patients. No one else in Atlanta does that. We have a track record with heart attack survivors. As far as we know, no one else in Atlanta gets results like this.
Heart attack survivors are at high risk for another event. Knowing you have high risk is the first step.
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.
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Tips For Heart Attack Prevention
The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?
You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:
- Prevent blood clots