What is a heart attack?
An acute heart attack is a life-threatening condition. It happens due to sudden and total occlusion of a preexisting partial block in the coronary artery, thereby totally cutting off the blood supply of a part of the heart muscle. The patient presents with sudden onset of chest pain.
Which patients are more inclined to a heart attack?
There are certain individuals with a higher risk of a heart attack. Patients with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and disturbed cholesterol level have a three times higher risk of heart attack compared to those not having these diseases. Similarly, smokers also have three times more risk of heart attack than nonsmokers. The risk in smokers depends on the number of cigarettes he or she consumes. If your parents or siblings had a heart attack at an early age, you are more prone to a heart attack. Nowadays increased stress levels due to rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles (lack of a healthy diet and daily exercise) also contribute significantly to the rising rates of heart attack. Lastly, our heredity also plays a significant role.
What is the reason for the increasing rates of heart attacks at a young age?
Increased consumption of tobacco in any form like smoking pan mava, gutkha, mishri, lack of exercise, diet containing high saturated fats, and high stress among youngsters are common causes for increasing rates of a heart attack in the younger age group.
Can we prevent a heart attack?
Yes. The risk of heart attack can be reduced to some extent by regular exercise and the following of a healthy heart diet recommended by your cardiologist.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Any kind of chest pain like chest discomfort, uneasiness, heaviness, cramping around the chest, feeling of impending doom could be the symptoms of a heart attack. Some patients may show discomfort in the arm, neck, or jaw, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, or intense weakness. Sometimes symptoms are very subtle and the patient may misdiagnose themselves like having gas or acidity. It is always advisable to consult a cardiologist if any person develops chest pain that is new in onset especially those who have risk factors.