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Heart Attack: Risk Factors and Signs You Must Not Ignore
Heart attack is caused by blockage of arteries that supply blood to the heart. This blockage is most often a result of buildup of cholesterol, fat and other substances in the form of plaque. When this plaque breaks free, a blood clot is formed. Parts of heart muscles are damaged or destroyed due to interrupted blood flow. This can lead to a situation where the person might be required to undergo heart attack bypass surgery. Also known as myocardial infarction, heart attacks can be fatal. Most common signs or symptoms of a heart attack include-
Symptoms of A Heart Attack
- Cold sweat
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden dizziness and lightheadedness
- Indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain or heartburn
- Tightness, pressure, pain or aching sensation in arms or chest that may lead to neck, back or jaw.
Emergency help must be availed immediately if any of these symptoms persist. The severity or presence of symptoms varies from person to person. Recurrent chest pain or pressure that’s triggered by exertion and relieved by rest is the earliest warning sign of a heart attack.
There are several risk factors that increase the chances of having a heart attack. These factors are as follows:
Age- Men above 45 and women above 55 years of age are at a higher risk of developing a heart attack as compared to younger men and women.
Tobacco Users- Those who smoke or have long-term exposure to second-hand smoke are at a higher risk.
High Blood Pressure- High blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries leading to your heart.
High Cholesterol or Triglyceride Levels- While bad cholesterol can narrow down your arteries, good cholesterol helps lower down your risk of developing a heart attack. High level of triglycerides also elevates the risk.
Obesity- Obese people have high triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in their body. Most of them are also diabetic. All these increase the risk of a heart attack.
Metabolic Syndrome- Metabolic syndrome is often a result of obesity, high blood pressure and sugar. The chances of having a heart attack are doubled in people with metabolic syndrome.
Family History- If your parents, siblings or grandparents had heart attacks, chances are high you might have it as well.
Lack of Physical Activity- People who lead an active lifestyle have an improved cardiovascular fitness as compared to those who are inactive.
Stress- Stress leads to conditions that might elevate your risk of having a heart attack.
Illicit Drug Use- Stimulant drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine can trigger spasms in your coronary arteries that can lead to heart attack.
History of Preeclampsia- The condition leads to high blood pressure especially during pregnancy that increases one’s chances of a heart attack.
Autoimmune Condition- Conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis also increases the risk of a heart attack.
If you think you are at a risk of a heart attack or have faced symptoms as mentioned above, it is important that you consult the experts. Only the best heart hospitals in India must be trusted for ailments related to the heart.