Wednesday, February 1, 2023

What The Symptoms Of Heart Attack

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Heart Attack Symptoms In Men Vs Women

Heart Attack Symptoms

All heart attacks are not created equally, and that is especially true when it comes to the difference in symptoms between men and women. Knowing how to identify heart attack symptoms is critical to getting treatment quicker and saving valuable heart muscle. Dr. Tara Jarreau of Louisiana Cardiology Associates offers the following advice on recognizing heart attack symptoms.

Studies have shown there is a distinct disparity between men and women when it comes to the heart. For example, women have smaller hearts and smaller arteries than men do. This could be why the symptoms of a heart attack are different for women than men.

Common symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women include:

  • Chest pain. For men, it can feel like uncomfortable pressure or squeezing of the chest. For women, the pain could be radiating or non-radiating. Research shows that almost half of women said they did not experience chest pain at anytime during a heart attack.
  • Jaw or shoulder pain
  • Weakness and shortness of breath

Unique symptoms for women include:

  • Fatigue, often the first and most unrecognized symptom
  • Back pain between the shoulder blades
  • Unique symptoms for men include:
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Back or stomach pain
  • Abdominal discomfort that may feel like indigestion

Tips for Prevention

Common Heart Attack Treatments

Youll find many common heart attack treatments listed here. For more detailed explanations of these treatments, see our page devoted to cardiac procedures.

  • Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
  • Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
  • Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
  • Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
  • Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
  • Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patients back or abdomen.
  • Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
  • Minimally invasive heart surgery: An alternative to standard bypass surgery.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
  • Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
  • Transmyocardial revascularization : A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the hearts pumping chamber.

Can I Prevent Having A Heart Attack

In general, there are many things that you can do that may prevent a heart attack. However, some factors beyond your control especially your family history can still lead to a heart attack despite your best efforts. Still, reducing your risk can postpone when you have a heart attack and reduce the severity if you have one.

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Angina And Heart Attacks

Angina is a syndrome caused by the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becoming restricted.

People with angina can experience similar symptoms to a heart attack, but they usually happen during exercise and pass within a few minutes.

However, occasionally, people with angina can have a heart attack. It’s important to recognise the difference between the symptoms of angina and those of a heart attack. The best way to do this is to remember that the symptoms of angina can be controlled with medicine, but symptoms of a heart attack cannot.

If you have angina, you may have been prescribed medicine that improves your symptoms within 5 minutes. If the first dose does not work, a second dose can be taken after 5 minutes, and a third dose after a further 5 minutes.

If the pain persists, despite taking 3 doses of glyceryl trinitrate over 15 minutes, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022

What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition

Heart Attack Signs In Males

After youve had a heart attack, youre at a higher risk of a similar occurrence. Your healthcare provider will likely recommend follow-up monitoring, testing and care to avoid future heart attacks. Some of these include:

  • Heart scans: Similar to the methods used to diagnose a heart attack, these can assess the effects of your heart attack and determine if you have permanent heart damage. They can also look for signs of heart and circulatory problems that increase the chance of future heart attacks.
  • Stress test: These heart tests and scans that take place while youre exercising can show potential problems that stand out only when your heart is working harder.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation: These programs help you improve your overall health and lifestyle, which can prevent another heart attack.

Additionally, youll continue to take medicines some of the ones you received for immediate treatment of your heart attack long-term. These include:

  • Aspirin and other blood-thinning agents.

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Smi: Unaware Of Possible Danger

The number of people who suffer an SMI and don’t realize it is alarming. A study in the Nov. 10, 2015, Journal of the American Medical Association looked at almost 2,000 people ages 45 to 84 who were free of cardiovascular disease.

After 10 years, 8% had myocardial scars, which are evidence of a heart attack. Most surprising was that 80% of these people were unaware of their condition. Overall, the prevalence of myocardial scars was five times higher in men than in women.

SMI and regular heart attacks share the same risk factors: smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. They can be just as dangerous, too. “SMI often leaves scarring and damage to the heart, which, combined with the fact that many people who have an SMI don’t seek immediate care, can further raise a person’s risk of a second and potentially more harmful heart attack,” says Dr. Plutzky. In fact, people who have an SMI and don’t get treatment have a three times greater risk of dying from coronary artery disease. “A silent heart attack is a loud signal your body sends that you have some kind of underlying health issue that needs attention,” says Dr. Plutzky.

What To Do If You Have Heart Attack Symptoms

Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns, its important to be aware of other possible heart attack symptoms.

If you suddenly become nauseated and are having trouble catching your breath or you have serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the 911 dispatcher you may be having a heart attack.

You may be reluctant to call 911 if youre not sure whether you or a loved one is having a heart attack, but its better to err on the side of caution.

A heart attack is often a life threatening emergency. The faster you get medical attention, the better chance you have of a good recovery.

When to call 911

Any time you have pain or pressure in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes and is different to pain youve felt before, its important to get medical attention as soon as possible. This is especially important if you have other symptoms, too, such as:

  • shortness of breath

nearly a quarter of all heart attacks in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

A silent heart attack may resolve on its own if, for example, the clot blocking blood flow dissolves or becomes dislodged and is absorbed into the body. But a silent heart attack can still cause damage.

If a doctor discovers that you had a silent heart attack, you may want to consider cardiac rehabilitation and the type of care that any other person whos had a heart attack receives.

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Heart Attack Treatment: Time Is Muscle

People who experience some of these subtle signs are oftenhesitant to head to the hospital. After all, nausea or neck pain can haveother, not-so-serious causes. And a feeling that something just isnt right?Thats frustratingly vague and hard to explain to a doctor.

But if theres even a chance you are having a heart attack, its better to act fast and early thanlate.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, damaging the heart muscle. Without urgent treatment, heart tissue will begin to die. Time is muscle, Dr. Abdallah says. The sooner your doctor starts treatment, the better the outcome.

Doctors can give medications and perform procedures to remove blockages and restore blood flow to the heart. And such therapy has gotten better and more effective over the years, he adds. Treating heart attacks has been one of the great interventions in the history of medicine.

Common Heart Attack Types And Treatments

Symptoms of Heart Attack: Types of Heart Attacks

The type of heart attack you experienced determines the treatments that your medical team will recommend. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more coronary arteries reduces or stops blood flow to the heart, which starves part of the heart muscle of oxygen.

The blockage might be complete or partial:

  • A complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a STEMI heart attack or ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
  • A partial blockage is an NSTEMI heart attack or a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction

Treatments differ for a STEMI versus NSTEMI heart attack, although there can be some overlap.

Hospitals commonly use techniques to restore blood flow to part of the heart muscle damaged during a heart attack:

  • You might receive clot-dissolving drugs , balloon angioplasty , surgery or a combination of treatments.
  • About 36 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are equipped to use a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention , a mechanical means of treating heart attack.

At a hospital equipped to administer PCI, you would likely be sent to a department that specializes in cardiac catheterization, sometimes called a cath lab. There, a diagnostic angiogram can examine blood flow to your heart and reveal how well your heart is pumping. Depending on the results of that procedure, you may be routed to one of three treatments: medical therapy only, PCI or coronary artery bypass grafting .

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What Do You Do If You Have A Heart Attack

If you have any of the listed symptoms:

  • tell someone and ask them to get help right away

The faster you get help, the better your chances of surviving a heart attack. Half of heart attack deaths happen within 2 hours of the first signs.

On average, Canadians wait almost 5 hours before getting medical help. Many people find it hard to believe that they are having a heart attack. They convince themselves that the symptoms are something else and that they will go away.

Not getting help for your symptoms could lead to death. New therapies and drugs can reduce damage and save your life if treatment begins soon enough. Your health care provider will work with you to determine treatment and recovery needs.

If you have suffered a heart attack, having important health information close by can help medical staff treat you. Carry personal health information with you at all times and have it posted by your phone. You may not be able to tell medical staff this information yourself, depending on your condition.

Your list should include:

  • telephone and health care number
  • medical history
  • current medications
  • health care provider
  • health insurance number for expenses that are not covered under provincial health insurance plans, such as:
  • ambulance services

Early Signs Of A Heart Attack

Are your vague symptoms just fatigue or something serious? Learn the early warning signs that could signal a heart attack.

Contributor

Sutter Medical Foundation

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Many of us have experienced that moment. Perhaps were driving in traffic or working out at the gym when we feel a twinge in our chest, or an aggressive pulse. Or maybe we just dont feel right. We might pause at these moments and wonder if its time to hightail it the doctor or if this is normal.

The reality is people can notice subtle heart attack symptoms months before an actual event occurs, says Sutter Zi-Jian Xu, M.D., a cardiologist in the Sutter Health network.

Dr. Xu frequently discusses heart attack symptoms and prevention with his patients. Heres what you need to know.

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Women And Heart Attack Warning Signs

Women may experience any of the heart attack warning signs. However, they can sometimes experience heart attacks slightly differently to men:

  • the pain is more likely to spread as far as the shoulders, neck, abdomen and even the back
  • the pain may feel more like indigestion and not be consistent
  • there may not be pain but unexplained anxiety, nausea, dizziness, palpitations and cold sweat

Women may also experience unexplained tiredness prior to developing other heart attack symptoms.

Factors Influencing The Risk Of A Heart Attack

What Is Heart Attack, Its Symptoms And Treatment?

Several many factors will put individuals at risk of a heart attack. Majorly the dangers are divided into controllable and non-controllable. Genetic factors like gender, age, and family history come under non-controllable. On the flip side, other controllable factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diet.

Gender

The progression of heart disease varies for men and women. For instance, plaque formation in men will be in the largest arteries. At the same time, the plaque formation will be in the smallest blood vessel for women.

The symptoms, risks, diagnoses, and treatments for men and women differ. Men are more prone to heart attacks compared to women and have a higher chance of getting a heart attack in the earliest stage.

Age

On average, a heart attack is possible at an age above 45. Individuals over 65 are most likely to have a higher risk of a heart attack. That might lead to death.

Family history

The risk of a heart attack will be higher if individuals have a family history of heart disease because genetics is similar.

High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

High blood pressure, as well as cholesterol, would significantly increase the chance of a heart attack.

Smoking & Alcohol Consumption

Lifestyle, Stress, & Diet

Improve the quality of life with a good and healthy lifestyle. Undeniably, an unhealthy lifestyle increases an individuals heart disease risk more than genetics.

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Damar Hamlin: Cardiac Arrest Heart Attack And Heart Failure Signs And Symptoms To Know

LAKE MARY, Fla. – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, 24, reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest when he collapsed on the field after making a tackle during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Hamlin received medical attention on the field with concerned players from both teams standing by a scary scene that unfolded in front of a national television audience. As of Monday night, Hamlin was hospitalized in critical condition, according to a statement by the National Football League. The game has since been postponed.

CINCINNATI, OHIO – JANUARY 02: Buffalo Bills players huddle and pray after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Womens Signs Of Heart Attack

The most common heart attack sign is chest pain or discomfort however, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. They may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

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How Is Hri Fighting Heart Attack

HRI is conducting innovative research to develop new therapies for detecting, preventing and treating heart attacks.

Our Arterial Inflammation and Redox Biology Group is investigating unstable atherosclerotic plaque, which can cause blockages leading to heart attack, and how to detect and prevent the formation of this high-risk plaque.

Our Coronary Diseases Group is investigating whether the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, which has already proved safe and effective for treating conditions like arthritis and gout, can be repurposed to protect against repeat heart attacks. A collaboration between the Coronary Disease Group and our Clinical Research Group has also discovered that the heart releases certain substances during a heart attack that can be detected in the laboratory.

Our Cardiovascular Medical Devices Group is using cutting-edge bioengineering improvements to develop a new generation of medical devices to reduce the chances of thrombosis during surgical medical interventions.

Our Thrombosis Group is undertaking research to understand how blood clot formation occurs in healthy individuals. This research is crucial for developing safer and more effective therapies for heart attacks, amongst other cardiovascular diseases.

When To Call 9

Warning signs symptoms of a heart attack

Any time you think you might be having a heart attack, dont ignore it. even if you are not sure that youre having a heart attack.

  • Acting fast can limit damage to your heart and save your life. The 9-1-1 operator or emergency medical services personnel can give you advice that can help prevent damage to your heart.
  • An ambulance is the best and safest way to get to the hospital. Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. EMS personnel can check how you are doing and start tests and lifesaving medicines right away. People who arrive by ambulance often get faster treatment at the hospital.

Every minute matters. Never delay calling 9-1-1, taking aspirin or doing anything else you think might help.

Knowing the difference between stable angina and a heart attack is important.

  • The pain from angina usually happens after physical activity and goes away in a few minutes when you rest or take medicine to treat it.
  • The pain from a heart attack is more serious 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,

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