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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is a condition in which a part of the heart does not get enough blood supply. The longer it lasts without treatment to restore the blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart muscle.

Coronary artery disease (narrowing of coronary arteries, usually due to plaque buildup) is one of the significant causes of a heart attack. Other conditions include severe spasms or sudden coronary artery contraction that can stop blood flow to the heart muscle.

The primary symptom of a heart attack is chest pain or discomfort.

This discomfort or pain is mainly in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort can feel like heavy pressure, squeezing or a feeling of fullness.

Other major symptoms include-

  • Feeling weak

  • Breaking out into cold sweat

  • Light-headedness and dizziness

  • Discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back

  • Pain in one or both arms and shoulders

  • Shortness of breath

You may also have unusual tiredness, nausea and vomiting.

Risk factors for heart attack

The primary key risk factors for heart disease are-

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood cholesterol

  • Smoking

Other risk factors, such as age and family history, cannot be controlled, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help lower the risk.

If you had a heart attack, that indicates that your heart could be damaged, i.e., it could affect your heart’s rhythm and the ability to pump blood to the rest of the body.

You may be at risk for future heart attacks or other health conditions such as stroke, kidney disorders, and peripheral arterial disease (blockage of vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs).

Lower the chances of having future health problems with these tips-

1. Physical activity or regular exercise

2. Healthy lifestyle changes

3. Cardiac rehabilitation- a supervised program that includes-

  • Physical activity

  • Education about healthy living

  • Ways to relieve stress and improve mental health

Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives. The sooner the treatment can reduce the amount of damage to the heart.


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