Heart Attack Risks

What’s Your Risk of a Heart Attack?

Heart attacks are known as a Myocardial Infarction, and are very common with over 3,000,000 being diagnosed in the US alone each year. Heart attacks require a medical diagnosis, and oftentimes lab tests or imaging are what confirms that someone had a heart attack. Heart attacks are generally treatable within days to weeks by a healthcare professional. A heart attack is considered a severe medical emergency.

Usually heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of the blood to the heart muscle. If the heart does not have an adequate supply of blood, the tissue that makes up the heart loses oxygen and it dies. Massive heart attacks usually kill instantly or within a matter of a few hours, but if found in time most heart attacks can be treated. Symptoms of a heart attack include tightness in the chest/neck/back/arms, extra added anxiety, extreme sudden fatigue, and lightheadedness. These symptoms will come on very suddenly after being fine just a moment or two earlier. Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms than men are.  Treatments include anything from lifestyle changes and cardiac rehabilitation or even medications, stents, and bypass surgeries to restore normal function of the cardiac system to the person who suffered from the heart attack.

People can suffer from heart attacks at any age and stage of life, but the most common patients are aged 60+. Although one can experience a slightly increased risk of heart attacks between the ages of 19-40, and yet a more elevated risk between the ages of 41-60. After age 60 the changes are the greatest. For many patients who have had a heart attack using a daily aspirin regimen can help lower the risk of a future heart attack by 10-15%. However, a patient should talk to their doctors before beginning any medication regimen, even one that is simple as something like aspirin that are available over the counter as this may not be the best treatment for everyone.

ACE inhibitors can also help reduce the risk of someone having a future heart attack or stroke by about 20-25%. Statins treat high cholesterol and reduce risks of future heart attacks by 15-20%. Exercise can help increase heart function and make the chances of having a heart attack 21-34% less likely depending on how much activity one is getting in their daily life as the heart works more efficiently, and is less likely to get clogged with plaque and cholesterol that stops blood flow causing heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac conditions. It is vital to assume responsibility by doing these recommended steps after consulting with your doctor to avoid future cardiac problems. Remember that it is never known how big the next heart attack or stroke could be, and how it may affect an individual if they survive at all! You can help lower the chances of such future incidences from happening, but you must consult your doctor and take proactive steps to stay ahead of the threat!

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