What Causes Heart Attacks
The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease. This is where fatty deposits, cholesterol and other substances build up in the walls of the coronary arteries that supply oxygen to the heart. Over time, this build-up hardens into plaque that can break off at any time and cause a blood clot which blocks the artery.
In some cases, heart attacks have another cause:
- Coronary artery spasm is an unusual narrowing of blood vessels that can stop blood flow to the heart.
- Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a sudden tear in the wall of a coronary artery, which can also affect people who have few risk factors for heart disease.
Certain lifestyle factors are shown to increase your chances of heart disease and having a heart attack.
If You Have A Mild Heart Attack But No Surgical Treatment How Long Will You Survive
The short answer is we dont know, says Pilar Stevens-Cohen, MD, FACC, Department of Cardiology, South Nassau Communities Hospital.
If we suspect a silent MI , patients are immediately targeted for secondary prevention and are placed on an aggressive regimen including cholesterol lowering medication, aspirin and usually anti-hypertensives.
Ive always wondered about this because a man I used to work with in an office one day was absent. I later learned he had a mild heart attack.
He was 47 and a few days later was back at work. He had been driving when he felt chest pain and drove himself to the ER.
Hed had no bypass surgery, no stent. The only difference was that he was bringing grapefruits to work and saying how his heart needed the roughage of the fruit.
So this begs the question:
If someone has a mild heart attack but no surgical treatment, how long can they be expected to live?
Seems to me that if nothing is done , a major heart attack will surely occur.
Dr. Stevens-Cohen explains, It may have to do with the wording. Sometimes, the blood tests can be positive, but when you perform an angiogram or a stress test, there is no damage, area of ischemia or significant blockage.
Troponins are enzymes that damaged heart muscle release, so when someone has a heart attack, these proteins WILL be released and show as elevated in the blood test. Ischemia refers to oxygen supply being cut off.
What Should I Do After A Mild Heart Attack
5 things you need to do after a heart attack1 Know the warning signs. Photo: Thinkstock. 2 Follow your medication plan. The day of your discharge, you probably walked out the hospital with a shopping bag of new medicines and instructions on how to take them. 3 Make lifestyle changes. 4 Take part in a cardiac rehab program. 5 Communicate with your health care team.
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Can Heart Attack Damage Be Reversed By Cardiospheres Derived Cells
Cardiospheres describes a cluster of endogenous cardiac stem cells that form when the cells are cloned. Samples of heart muscle are obtained by biopsies of heart tissue and then grown in culture to yield millions of Cardiospheres derived cells that can later be injected intravenously or intracoronary. These stem cells can differentiate into heart muscle and blood vessels . Research has demonstrated however, that the therapeutic action of CDCs does not depend on their capacity to engraft and differentiate, but from their ability to stimulate endogenous repair. The release of growth factors triggers regeneration of heart cells and inhibits cell death and fibrosis resulting in improvement in muscle function. In preclinical models of heart attack, they have been shown to reduce the scar size, regenerate cardiac muscle and improve myocardial function.
In a phase 1 clinical trial, CDC autologous stem cells were obtained from endomyocardial biopsies of the patients 2-4 weeks after their heart attacks. The CDCs were grown according to the cardiospheres culture method and injected into the infarct related artery one and half to 3 months after their heart attacks. Infarct size was assessed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging . The patients treated with CDCs showed a reduction in scar mass and increase in viable heart mass and regional wall motion.
Ignoring Heart Attack Symptoms Can Be A Fatal Mistake
A heart attack happens every 34 seconds in America, affecting more than one million people each year. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women in America.
If heart attacks really happened as they are portrayed in the movies the sudden, intense chest pain that brings you to your knees it would be easier to know when to go to the hospital. In reality, the pain and discomfort caused by a heart attack can be more subtle, especially for women. If youre having a heart attack, prompt medical attention may help protect your heart muscle from permanent damage, and perhaps save your life.
A heart attack occurs when the blood that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is blocked, often by a blood clot. A less common cause of a heart attack is a coronary artery spasm that restricts blood flow. Without oxygen, heart muscle cells begin to break down. A heart attack can cause permanent damage to the heart, impairing its pumping ability. However, survival rates are favorable for those who seek immediate medical attention.
A heart attack may be the first sign of coronary artery disease which can be caused by plaque build-up. CAD narrows or blocks the arteries and increases the likelihood of developing blood clots. In addition to heart attacks, CAD can lead to other medical problems including angina, which causes chest pain and discomfort, or arrhythmia which is an irregular heartbeat. Over time angina can weaken the heart muscle and cause heart failure.
Heres Exactly What To Expect After A Heart Attack
It can be a scary time, but knowing whats coming can help you feel more in control.
Nobody anticipates suffering a heart attacka cardiac event where part of the heart stops getting enough blood, which can lead to permanent damage or deathbut it happens every 40 seconds to someone in the United States. That adds up to 805,000 people a year. Most survive and go on to enjoy full, active lives. But the road back to normal can be both stressful and surprising. What can make it a little more manageable? Knowing what lies ahead.
Keep reading to see what most heart attack survivors discover in the weeks, months, and years after leaving the hospital.
Youll get to leave the hospital pretty quickly.
People who have severe heart attacks tend to stay in the hospital for a week or longer. However, a fair share of patients are able to go home just a day or two after having their heart attack, according to Briana Costello, MD, an interventional cardiologist with the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. We place a stent in the artery to open up the blocked vessel, and that procedure is pretty well tolerated by most people, she says. As a result, many patients go home really quickly.
Youll start to be able to do normal things almost immediately.
One thing to keep in mind: Youll want to check with your doctor before trying other more strenuous activities . However, many people can start driving within a week and having sex again within a few weeks.
Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
SCAD is a type of heart attack that happens when the inner lining of a coronary artery tears for no clear reason, slowing or blocking blood flow down the artery.
SCAD can occur in otherwise healthy people who do not have the typical risk factors of heart disease. And according to an article in Clinical Cardiology , about 90% of SCADs happen to women between the age of 30 and 60.
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What Is 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.
A massive heart attack can result in collapse, , and rapid death or permanent heart damage. A massive heart attack can also lead to heart failure, arrhythmia, and a higher risk of a second heart attack.
Heart Attack Recovery Time
Recovery after a heart attack doesnt happen immediately after leaving the hospital. Depending on the severity, it may take a few weeks to a few months to fully recover. While rest is important after a heart attack, it is also important for heart attack survivors to get more physical activity than they did before.
A big part of recovery can be to implement lifestyle changes that may take time. If you or a loved one has recently experienced a heart attack be sure to allow yourself time to recover and dont put pressure on yourself to bounce back overnight.
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Risk Of A Repeat Heart Attack
Once youve had a heart attack, youre at higher risk for another one. Knowing the difference between angina and a heart attack is important. Angina is chest pain that occurs in people who have ischemic heart disease.
The pain from angina usually occurs after physical exertion and goes away in a few minutes when you rest or take medicine as directed.
The pain from a heart attack usually is more severe than the pain from angina. Heart attack pain doesnt go away when you rest or take medicine.
If you dont know whether your chest pain is angina or a heart attack, call 911.
The symptoms of a second heart attack may not be the same as those of a first heart attack. Dont take a chance if youre in doubt. Always call 911 right away if you or someone else has heart attack symptoms.
Unfortunately, most heart attack victims wait 2 hours or more after their symptoms start before they seek medical help. This delay can result in lasting heart damage or death.
Does A Mild Heart Attack Damage The Heart
A mild heart attack affects a relatively small portion of the heart muscle, or does not cause much permanent heart damage. This is because the blockage in a coronary artery occurs in a small artery that supplies a small portion of the heart muscle does not completely block blood flow to the heart or lasts briefly.
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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.
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Your Cholesterol
If you have had a heart attack, you may feel worried and overwhelmed. You probably have a lot of questions. We can help answer some of these questions and provide ways to recover and stay well.
To start, its important to take care of yourself. Look to those around you for help during this time. Talk to your doctor for specific advice or if you have any concerns.
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Can Coughing Help You Survive A Heart Attack
This is generally not helpful, according to the American Heart Association. In a hospital setting, a nurse or physician may instruct someone to cough forcefully and repetitively during the initial seconds of a sudden heart rhythm problem. This is to try to maintain blood flow to the brain for a few seconds. Outside of a hospital, coughing really isn’t useful and “cough CPR” is a myth.
What Happens During A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when blood flow to a section of the heart becomes blocked. Heart attacks are different for everyone. Some are sudden and intense and sometimes accompanied by chest pain. Most heart attacks, however, start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Symptoms can vary among men and women.
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The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Signs Of Heart Attack That You Shouldnt Ignore
About every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the US. Most people imagine that having a heart attack is always intense. But the truth is that sometimes you may be unsure if your are suffering from a heart attack because the signs can be subtle and different from what you may typically think of.
This makes heart attacks very dangerous. In fact, 1 in 5 heart attacks goes unnoticed, meaning the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood supply but the person is not aware of that this has occurred.
So what are the signs of a heart attack both subtle and not-so-subtle? Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for:
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Can Heart Attack Damage Be Reversed As Assessed By Mri
Using MRI infarct size is an important predictor of mortality and major cardiovascular events. MRI spatial resolution allows for the detection of subendocardial infarcts. The infarct size calculation can be expressed as infarct mass and as a percentage of the LV or total myocardial mass. It correlates well with histology and PET scanning.
To perform MR imaging, we used a 1.5T whole body scanner and a phase array body coil that is wrapped around the patients chest. Some of our patients are claustrophobic and for the study, one of our research nurses usually has to stay with the patients. The protocol starts with anatomical stack localizer scout imaging to determine the orientation of the left ventricle short axis imaging plane. For evaluation of the left ventricular function, cine MR imaging is performed using ECG modified gated gradient echo sequences and breath holding technique. This results in dynamic images with high temporal resolution that allows for evaluation of the left ventricular wall motion and volumetric measurements. The study above evaluates the LV size and function in the long axis of the left ventricle. The wall motion analysis can be performed in the short axis, from the base of the heart to the apex as seen below.
What Can I Do To Recover After A Heart Attack
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If youve had a heart attack, your heart may be damaged. This could affect your hearts rhythm and its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. You may also be at risk for another heart attack or conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease .
You can lower your chances of having future health problems following a heart attack with these steps:
- Physical activityTalk with your health care team about the things you do each day in your life and work. Your doctor may want you to limit work, travel, or sexual activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Lifestyle changesEating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stressin addition to taking prescribed medicinescan help improve your heart health and quality of life. Ask your health care team about attending a program called cardiac rehabilitation to help you make these lifestyle changes.
- Cardiac rehabilitationCardiac rehabilitation is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problem that required surgery or medical care. Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health
What Happens After A Heart Attack
Good news! Statistics show that most people do not die after experiencing a heart attack.
The body is a robust organism and will usually do a good job at bouncing back into action even after something this serious. This is not to say that there will not be after effects, though, and surviving the attack itself is just the first step on what is likely to be a long process of recovery. Heart attack after effects vary widely in their severity and in the manner of their manifestation, and each person will experience different symptoms and face unique challenges.
How To Recover From A Heart Attack And Prevent A Second One
After addressing the immediate problem, focus shifts to improving long-term health. A heart attack can lead to further heart problems over time, such as heart failure. About 20% of patients 45 years and older will also have a second heart attack within five years.
Your doctor will likely prescribe medications to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Most patients may also be put on medications to reduce clotting and told to take a daily Aspirin, which can decrease the risk of another heart attack in certain cases.
Doctors will also focus on lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure or lower cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends focusing on “Life’s Simple 7“: stop smoking, eat better, get active, lose weight, manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, and reduce blood sugar.
According to Andrus, these seven factors are a strong foundation to prevent future heart attacks, but recovery may need to go further.
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