Heart Attacks

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Heart Pages: 3 (553 words) Published: March 4, 2013

|Heart Attacks | |What You Should Know | |Jonathan Muamba |

Heart Attacks: What You Should Know

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about 1.1 million Americans have a heart attack each year. About 40 percent of heart attacks are fatal. Because heart attacks often happen about one hour after symptoms first start, people typically can seek medical care.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is caused by coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD occurs when the coronary arteries narrow, which decreases blood supply to the heart. A blood clot usually forms, which terminates blood flow. When this occurs, a person is having a heart attack. If not treated immediately, permanent muscle damage can occur, or the person can die.

What are the signs of a heart attack?

Some of the main signs of a heart attack include the following:

← Uncomfortable pressure, pain, squeezing sensation, or discomfort in the center of the chest, typically lasting more than a few minutes.

← Pain or pressure in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or arms. ← Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, or nausea.
← Heartburn or indigestion.
← Increased or irregular heart rate.
← Shortness of breath.
How can you reduce the risk of a heart attack?

Some factors, such as age and history of heart disease in a family are uncontrollable; however, you can take steps to reduce the risk of having a heart attack. Some of these steps include the following:

← Stop smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking dramatically increases the risk of heart attacks.

← Lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure forces your heart to work harder, which increases the risk of a heart attack. The optimal blood pressure is 120/80. To prevent or control high blood pressure, do the following:...
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