Who is prone to a heart attack?
If you smoke, suffer from hypertension or diabetes mellitus, indulge in a high fat diet, are obese or over 65, then you better watch out.
How does one identify a heart attack?
Myocardial infarction (MI) is also known as a heart attack. Chest pain is the main symptom of MI, but there are cases where the pain may not be unbearable or sometimes completely absent, especially in the elderly and diabetics. Other symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting may predominate. Acute MI occurs in approximately 2 out of 1,000 people per year. It is a major cause of sudden death in adults.
What causes the heart attack?
Causes include clot formation or spasm in one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle (a coronary artery). These and other similar conditions block the supply of oxygen to an area of the heart, leading to damage or death of the cells in that area. Most often, this occurs in a coronary artery that has been narrowed from changes related to atherosclerosis. The damaged tissue results in a permanent loss of contraction of this portion of the heart muscle.
How can you prevent having one?
Reduce or avoid smoking, modify diet (increase high density lipoproteins & decrease low density lipoproteins) if necessary, control diabetes, lose weight if obese, reduce total cholesterol levels and control blood pressure. A good exercise schedule will also help.