HEART ATTACK - Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

Heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI). Myo means muscle and cardial means heart. Infarction refers to the death of tissue because of the lack of blood supply. The blockage of blood is commonly caused due to the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in blood vessels causing the reduction of their diameters.

Detecting heart attacks can be tricky as sometimes the presenting signs and symptoms can be atypical which can be hard to recognise and lead to critical loss of time & tissue.

Causes Of Heart Attack

Several factors lead to heart attack, a few of them are listed below:

  • Coronary artery disease or narrow arteries caused due to accumulation of plaque.
  • Atherosclerosis or fatty deposits.
  • Use of tobacco or illicit drugs like cocaine can cause life-threatening spasms.
  • Spontaneous Coronary Artery Diseases (SCAD)
  • Vasospasm
  • Thrombus

Infections with Covid-19 may also damage the heart in ways that can result in a heart attack.

Symptoms Of Heart Attack

Symptoms of Heart Attack vary from person to person depending upon the severity of the heart attack. Some people experience mild pain whereas some experience severe and in selective cases, no pain is felt.

Heart attacks can strike suddenly or come up with signs and symptoms a few days prior. Commonly observed signs are:

  • Heavy pressure or pain in the chest.
  • Angina can persist even at rest and is more severe.
  • Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath.
  • Weakness, dizziness, fainting or profuse sweating. Feeling of impending doom.
  • Heartburn like feeling.
  • Silent attacks are also common, especially in diabetics.
Heart Attack

Risk Factors of Heart Attack

Many factors contribute to atherosclerosis (unwanted build up of fatty deposition in arteries) which be reduced or eliminated to minimise the chances of heart attacks.

These include :

  • Age: Men above 45 and women above 55 years are more likely to experience heart attacks. However, in the present times, heart attacks can occur at any age from very young to old.
  • Tobacco- Active and Passive smoking.
  • High blood pressure can damage the arteries.
  • High blood cholesterol or triglycerides levels lead to plaque build-up and narrowing of the arteries.
  • Obesity is linked to high blood cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and diabetes, factors that increase the chances of having a heart attack. Losing 10% of body weight can lower the risk.
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
  • The metabolic syndrome- Having metabolic syndrome makes you twice as likely to develop heart disease.
  • Family history- If any sibling, parents or grandparents have had an early heart attack (age 55 for males and 65 for females), then you are at an increased risk.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Stress
  • Illicit drug abuse
  • History of preeclampsia
  • Autoimmune conditions

Complications of Heart Attack

Complications usually involve the factors which affect your health after experiencing a heart attack.

  • Abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia in some cases results in death.
  • Heart Attacks can lead to the inefficient working of the heart i.e., it cannot pump enough blood to the body and the muscles become weak leading to heart failure. Heart failures can be chronic or temporary.
  • Electrical disturbances that cause abnormal heart rhythms result in cardiac arrest and sudden death without any symptoms.

Prevention And Treatment for Heart Attack

The key to prevention is to reduce the risk factors. These include:

  • Lifestyle modifications- Managing and changing daily life habits such as switching to a healthy diet, Regular Exercise, Practising meditation for stress elimination, Controlled sugar levels and blood pressure, etc to lead a disease-free life. We work with our patients and simplify each category of lifestyle modification by our multipronged approaches
  • Medical management as prescribed by the cardiologist. Following a healthy lifestyle along with medication can reduce the chances of subsequent heart attacks to two folds and leads to faster recovery of the damaged heart

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