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Heart Attack

A heart attack is medically referred to as Myocardial Infarction (IM) and occurs when the heart or a part of it fails to receive normal blood supply. Since the condition might be fatal and always disabling, it has to be avoided. Any cardiac disease entails heavy expenditure and is generally viewed with sense of foreboding. The aura surrounding it is somewhat mysterious for a common man because he is mostly unclear regarding the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. The blood supply to the heart is disrupted following a blockage of the coronary artery due to a collection of lipids or plaque on the inner walls. The resultant ischemia or restricted supply of blood together with shortage of oxygen causes severe chest pain. If the condition is not attended to immediately, it can cause lifelong disability or death. It has been estimated that approximately 1.1 million of the population of the United States suffer from mild to severe heart attack and almost half of them succumb to it.

Heart Attack in Women and Men

The most common causes of a heart attack are:

  • CAD (Coronary Artery Disease)
  • Over exertion - mental or physical
  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to severe cold weather
  • Drugs abuse, alcohol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Acute infection
  • High blood pressure
  • Faulty dietary habits
  • Obesity
  • Genetics

CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS for Myocardial Infarction or Heart Attack

Signs of a heart attack vary greatly in both the sexes and often go undetected or not become evident, causing the damage as a silent killer. However, acute chest pain is closely signals a heart attack. Some of the most commonly experienced signs and symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Discomfort or pain in the chest, squeezing, tightness or fullness in the chest.
  • Chest pain that radiates to one or both arms, neck, jaw, back and abdomen.
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
  • Nausea, vomiting, fainting, cold sweat.
  • Anxiety, palpitation

TREATMENT for Heart Attack And Symptoms

Heart attack symptoms vary widely making immediate diagnosis difficult. Chest pain in women is not so acute or observable. In females the heart attack symptoms are more in number and variety than in males. Nausea, fatigue and breathlessness with a feeling of indigestion are felt by the ladies. CAD may strike at any age but is predominantly observed to affect persons above the age of 45 in men and 55 in women. Shortness of breath, disturbed sleep and nausea may be experienced at least a month prior to the actual onslaught of the chest pain in women.

In the elderly or diabetic people the signs of heart attack may never have overt manifestation and occur suddenly. Timely action can save a victim of heart attack because death may take place within an hour of the onset of initial chest pain. A cardiologist will be the best person to advice about the best heart attack treatment based on proper diagnosis, consisting mainly of ECG, blood tests or Echo test. Medication, regular check-ups and life-long care has to be taken by people who have had a heart attack. In extreme cases by-pass surgery is the only heart attack treatment that can be resorted to.

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