How Do People Get Heart Attacks?

How Do People Get Heart Attacks
What is a heart attack? – Heart attack signs and symptoms in men and women: Chest pain or discomfort; Shortness of breath; Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, arm, or shoulder; Feeling nauseous, light-headed, or unusually tired. A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, happens when a part of the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood.

How does a heart attack happen?

Overview – A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is severely reduced or blocked. The blockage is usually due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances in the heart (coronary) arteries. The fatty, cholesterol-containing deposits are called plaques.

  1. The process of plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis.
  2. Sometimes, a plaque can rupture and form a clot that blocks blood flow.
  3. A lack of blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle.
  4. A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction.
  5. Prompt treatment is needed for a heart attack to prevent death.

Call 911 or emergency medical help if you think you might be having a heart attack.

Can a healthy person have a heart attack?

Noninvasive tests help identify who’s really at risk for a heart attack. – Seemingly healthy people are “suddenly” having heart attacks because, as it turns out, their arteries are not perfectly healthy and they don’t know it. With the proper noninvasive tests, these diseased arteries would have been identified, and the heart attacks wouldn’t have happened.

Today, there are many that are more accurate in predicting the likelihood of a future heart attack. A normal stress test does not always mean that there is no trace of soft plaque building up inside the lining of your coronary arteries. However, it does mean that the blood flow to your heart was not obstructed on the day you took the test.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the blood flow will still be fine tomorrow. Currently, have access to cutting-edge diagnostic tests that can be performed in the office to identify these high-risk people early enough to prevent them from having heart attacks.

  1. At Heart and Vascular Care, we only use the most state-of-the-art equipment and up-to-date procedures currently available for diagnostic testing and strive to provide our patients with services that are both convenient and comfortable for them.
  2. We understand that every patient is unique and suffers from varying degrees of pain and mobility.
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We offer a broad range of diagnostic testing methods available to further the understanding of disease, injury, and congenital or acquired abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels. These tests assist in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and vascular disease.

Can I prevent heart attack?

There are 3 main steps you can take to help prevent a heart attack (as well as stroke): eat a healthy, balanced diet. do not smoke. try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

What a heart attack feels like?

What signs and symptoms are more likely to occur with a heart attack than with heartburn? – The “textbook” heart attack involves sudden, crushing chest pain and difficulty breathing, often brought on by exertion. Many heart attacks don’t happen that way, though.

  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

The most common symptom of heart attack for both men and women is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, such as jaw or back pain, shortness of breath, and nausea or vomiting. Heart problems are more common among people who have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol. Smoking and being overweight are other risk factors.

What usually happens before a heart attack?

Take the EHAC Oath with us. – We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together. “I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness.

How long do heart attacks start?

How long heart attack symptoms occur. Mild heart attack symptoms might only occur for two to five minutes then stop with rest. A full heart attack with complete blockage lasts much longer, sometimes for more than 20 minutes.

Is a heart attack instantly?

Heart attacks can start slowly and cause only mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms can be mild or more intense and sudden. Symptoms also may come and go over several hours.

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Do heart attacks Hurt?

What are the symptoms of heart attack? – The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease,

At what age can you have a heart attack?

Heart attacks are on the rise in patients aged 20-30 years old – Not long ago, heart attacks were primarily a problem faced by older adults. It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age.

  • Here’s another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common.
  • Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.
  • Your outlook isn’t better following a heart attack just because you’re younger.
  • Patients who have a heart attack in their 20s or 30s face the same risks as older patients.

Once you have that first heart attack, you have the same chance of dying from a second major heart event or a stroke regardless of your age.

What stops a heart attack?

Medications – Medications to treat a heart attack might include:

Aspirin. Aspirin reduces blood clotting. It helps keep blood moving through a narrowed artery. If you called 911 or your local emergency number, you may be told to chew aspirin. Emergency medical providers may give you aspirin immediately. Clot busters (thrombolytics or fibrinolytics). These drugs help break up any blood clots that are blocking blood flow to the heart. The earlier a thrombolytic drug is given after a heart attack, the less the heart is damaged and the greater the chance of survival. Other blood-thinning medications. A medicine called heparin may be given by IV or injection. Heparin makes the blood less sticky and less likely to form clots. Nitroglycerin. This medication widens the blood vessels. It helps improve blood flow to the heart. Nitroglycerin is used to treat sudden chest pain (angina). It’s given as a pill under the tongue, as a pill to swallow or as an injection. Morphine. This medicine is given to relieve chest pain that doesn’t go away with nitroglycerin. Beta blockers. These medications slow the heartbeat and decrease blood pressure. Beta blockers can limit the amount of heart muscle damage and prevent future heart attacks. They are given to most people who are having a heart attack. ACE inhibitors. These drugs lower blood pressure and reduce stress on the heart. Statins. These drugs help lower unhealthy cholesterol levels. Too much bad (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) cholesterol can clog arteries.

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Can you tell before you have a heart attack?

Catch the signs early – Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort. Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Download the common heart attack warning signs infographic (JPEG) | (PDF)

Can you live after a heart attack?

Make prevention your priority – After a first heart attack, most people go on to live a long, productive life. However, around 20 percent of patients age 45 and older will have another heart attack within five years of their first.

What are the 4 signs of an impending heart attack?

Take the EHAC Oath with us. – We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together. “I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness.