Heart Attack: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention

Introduction – A heart attack may occur if the flow of blood to the heart is blocked due to any reason. The blockage of blood flow to the heart in our body is due to fatty substances cholesterol, and many other substances that form plaque in the arteries and feed the heart. In several cases, a plaque can rupture, which forms a clot resulting in a blockage of blood flow to the heart. Due to the blockage of blood flow, it may harm the heart muscle.

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Causes – A heart attack can occur when one or more of your coronary arteries becomes blocked. Occasionally, a buildup of fatty deposits such as cholesterol forms substances known as plaques that can narrow the arteries. This type of disorder is known as coronary artery disease that may be responsible for heart attacks.

Heart Attack: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - Heart Foundation

During a heart attack or stroke, plaque can spill and rupture cholesterol and many other fatty substances deposits in the blood. If a blood clot forms in the body, then it can reduce the flow of blood through the coronary artery that starving the heart of oxygen and nutrients (ischemia).

There is second major cause of a heart attack is a spasm of a coronary artery that obstructs the blood flow to the heart muscle. The use of tobacco and illicit drugs including cocaine may cause a life-threatening spasm that is harmful to your heart. At present, infection with coronavirus can also damage your heart resulting in a heart attack in any person.

Symptoms – There are several common symptoms of heart attack are as given below –

  • Heartburn
  • Cold sweat
  • Chest pain
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Angina pain
  • Sudden dizziness

It is important to note that the signs of heart attack are not the same for all people. Some individuals feel mild pain or more severe pain or several people have no symptoms during a heart attack. The first symptom is sudden cardiac arrest in some people. Several heart attacks occur unexpectedly but some people have warning signs or symptoms for hours, days, or weeks in advance. The initial warning sign may be recurrent pressure (angina), or chest pain, which is triggered by activity and relieved by rest. The initial sign of heart attack is angina or chest pain due to a temporary reduction in blood flow to the heart.

Risk factors – There are many factors, which may be responsible for the unwanted buildup of fatty deposits. These fatty deposits narrow arteries throughout your body.  There are several risk factors that may be responsible for heart attack are discussed below –

  • Family history – If your grandparents, parents, and siblings have had early heart attacks then you will be at high risk of any heart attack
  • High cholesterol – A high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol may cause narrow arteries, which enhance the risk of a heart attack. However, a high HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is called as good cholesterol may reduce the risk of a heart attack.
  • Obesity – Obesity is linked with some diseases such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure that can cause a heart attack in fat people. But if you reduce weight by regular physical exercise or other activities then it may decrease the risk of a heart attack.
  • Age – If the age of men is 45 years and women is 55 years old then may have increased the risk of a heart attack as compared with youngsters either men or women.
  • Diabetes – It may increase the risk of heart attack if you are suffering from diabetes for a long time.
  • Stress – Stress or depression is also responsible for a heart problem. If you are suffering from severe depression or stress then it may cause a heart attack.
  • High blood pressure – High blood pressure can harmful to arteries that is also responsible for a heart problem.
  • Illegal use of drugs – If you use any illegal drugs including cocaine then it may activate a spasm of your coronary arteries that cause a heart attack.
  • Lack of physical activity – If you did not exercise daily or any other physical activity then you may suffer from obesity or high cholesterol that enhances the risk of a heart attack.

Prevention – There are several steps to prevent heart attack are discussed below –

  • Lifestyle factors – You should avoid drinking a large amount of alcohol and smoking, control blood pressure, regular exercise, lose weight then it reduces the risk of heart attacks.
  • Medications – You should take some medicines as prescribed by your doctor, which may help in functioning the heart better and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. “The heart is the only broken instrument that works.” Saw it somewhere. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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