Heart attack prevention has increased with modern drugs, but only if the patient gets help early, experts say. Once an attack has started and the flow of blood to a portion of the heart is blocked for several hours, the damage is irreversible.
Knowing the symptoms which can be wide-ranging and confusing, is extremely important. Prevention is better than cure, so knowing risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and family history are the best way to heart attack prevention.
Typical symptoms of a heart attack
include a crushing pain in the chest, sweating, difficulty breathing, weakness and pain in the arms, particularly the left.
Symptoms one could attribute to something else can cause devastating delays in seeking treatment. These include feelings of indigestion, back shoulder and neck pain and nausea. Early signs of trouble may appear during physical activity and disappear with rest. Any numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes, dizziness, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing should not be ignored. Knowing these symptoms is the best heart attack prevention.
Clinical studies, laboratory investigations and a number of surveys show certain personal characteristics and life-styles pointing to increased danger of heart attack. These danger signs are called “risk factors.” These well established risk factors are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus.
Attempts at modifying risk factors most certainly have contributed to the declining death rate from heart attacks. During the 1960’s, death rates from heart attacks were still rising, but today’s figures show that heart attacks have fallen dramatically. Overall, heart-related problems have declined about 25 percent in the last decade.
This decrease undoubtedly is due to better medical care of attack victims, but it is likely that a sizable percentage is related to modification of risk factors in heart attack.
Medical technology is advancing at an increasingly rapid rate. More drugs and medical technology are available than ever before and people are now more aware of the seriousness of heart attacks.
This downward trend however is likely to reverse with the rise of obesity, our new number one health risk.
Of particular concern by doctors and researchers is the role that the diet plays in the health of one’s heart and in heart attack prevention. Obesity predisposes individuals to coronary heart disease. Some of the reasons for this are known, but others are not.
The major causes of obesity are excessive intake of calories and inadequate exercise. When caloric intake is excessive, some of the excess is frequently saturated fat, which further raises the blood cholesterol. Thus, obesity contributes to higher coronary risk in a variety of ways.
are particularly necessary for heart attack prevention, if there is a family history of heart attacks, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or diabetes.
Many of the major factors for heart attack prevention though are obvious, so much of the responsibility for their control lies with us as individuals. Eat a balanced diet, enjoy moderate exercise, follow the themes of Healthy Lifestyle Tips on these pages and you will have the very best of heart attack prevention.
Remember, you should in all cases see a doctor for a check-up.