CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
Heart Attack Information
What Is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack occurs when part of the heart dies from not getting enough oxygen. This happens when one of the arteries supplying the heart with blood becomes blocked with a blood clot. While heart attack symptoms occur as a singular event, it can take years of silent plaque build up in the arteries before the incident happens.
What Causes a Heart Attack?
Heart attacks can happen when a blood clot lodges itself in one of the arteries of the heart. This prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the heart muscle which begins to die. Returning blood flow to the area in a timely manner is the key to survival in a heart attack. That means that symptoms must be reported to your doctor immediately. Just 20 minutes after a blood vessel is blocked by a clot, you can experience a heart attack.
What Are the Risk Factors?
You might be at risk for a heart attack if you are overweight, smoke, have a family history, are over 40 years old, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, do not exercise, or have a poor diet. If you have any of these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor in order to get the proper treatment to prevent a heart attack. Making lifestyle changes as suggested by your doctor will be one of the first methods used to prevent future problems with your heart.
What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
Typical symptoms are not felt by everyone. Women tend to experience heart attacks in a different manner than men. Ischemic (classic) symptoms are squeezing, burning, pressure, or a feeling of a weight on the chest. These can happen at any time, whether you are exercising or sitting quietly. They can last from a few minutes up to several hours, but it is important to get medical attention as soon as you feel symptoms.