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Heart Attack

Definition

A heart attack, or cardiac arrest, is caused when a blood clot blocks one of the coronary arteries, which transports blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow gets blocked and is not restored quickly, the heart suffers due to the lack of oxygen, and heart cells begin to die.

Heart attacks are the result of coronary disease, also known as the disease of the coronary arteries.

Prevention

A healthy lifestyle can help prevent cardiac arrest. Positive changes you can make include: a balanced and heart-healthy diet, physical activity, quitting smoking, stress management, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Reducing the risk factors in coronary artery disease can help prevent heart failure. If you have coronary artery disease, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of a heart attack are not the same for everyone. Many attacks begin slowly, as light pain or discomfort. Sometimes people show no symptoms. However, the most frequent symptom is pain or discomfort in the chest. Other signs and symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Discomfort in the upper body: arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Having difficulty breathing. This can happen before or at the same time as chest pain.
  • Nausea, vomit, light stunning, sudden dizziness, or cold sweats.
  • Fatigue, lack of energy, or lack of sleep.

Not everyone who suffers from a heart attack shows typical symptoms. If you are feeling discomfort mentioned above, contact your doctor immediately.

Risk Factors

There are certain factors that increase the likelihood of suffering from coronary artery disease, which can bring on a heart attack. You can control many of these risk factors:

  • Smoking.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Excess weight or obesity.
  • Unhealthy eating habits.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • High blood sugar due to insulin resistance or diabetes.

However, there are some risk factors that cannot be controlled. One of these is age. The risk of suffering from heart diseases increases in men after age 45. In women, it rises after the age of 55 or after menopause. Another factor that cannot be controlled is one’s family background. If a direct relative was diagnosed before age 55, the risk increases.

Treatment

Timely treatment is key to avoid long-lasting damages that could become serious heart conditions in the future. Acting quickly and calling emergency services as soon as symptoms begin, could save your life.

Our paramedic staff can diagnose and begin treatment right before arriving at the hospital. Call 2266500, available 24/7 in case of an emergency.

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