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Heart attack-Overview

Also calledmyocardial infarctation, a heart attack usually occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronaryartery (a blood vessel that feeds blood to a part of the heart muscle).Interrupted blood flow to the heart can damage or destroy a part of the heartmuscle. A heart attack was often fatal. Thanks to better awareness ofheart attack signs and symptoms and improved treatments, most people who have aheart attack now survive. And there are sure ways of decreasingone’s risk of getting a heart attack and they include: regular exercise,avoiding smoking and alcohol, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, and reducingstress.

There are many things that cancause a heart attack, most common being a blockage of the arteries. Also, itcan be induced by atherosclerosis, or, less commonly, a spasm of the coronaryartery.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms that aperson is having a heart attack are: a pressure or discomfort in the chest,arm, or below the breastbone, choking feeling (may even be described asheartburn), weakness, shortness of breath, anxiety, rapid or irregularheartbeats, nausea, sweating, dizziness, etc.

During a heart attack, symptoms last 30 minutes or longer and are notrelieved by rest or nitroglycerin under the tongue. Also, some people may havea heart attack without actually experiencing any symptoms (a "silent"myocardial infarction). A silent MI can occur in any person, though it is morecommon among diabetics.

Heart attack inwomen

Many women feel thatheart attack is not the greatest risk they might face. However, they shouldknow that the risk of a women getting a heart attack increase significantlyaround menopause, because hormonal changes may open the door for many diseases,among which cardiovascular disease. And it has been reported that every yearhundreds of thousands of women die as the result of a heart attack or othercardiovascular disease.

When it comes towomen, heart attack warnings can be subtle, and early symptoms of cardiacdistress can even emerge days or even weeks before the actual heart attack.However, being that they are considered to be usual for menopausal women, theyoften go unnoticed. The early symptoms of heart attack in women are sleepdisturbances and fatigue. A recent study conducted has shown that almost 70 percent of women have stated that they have experienced fatigue and sleepdisturbances weeks prior to the attack.

If one notices these symptoms,it is always advisable that they consult a doctor, especially if they haveincreased risk of getting a heart attack (i.e. if they have high cholesterol, highblood pressure, diabetes, obesity; if they smoke, etc). Research showsthat women frequently ignore signs of illness or attribute their symptoms ofcardiac distress to something else. This should not be done, but, at any signof trouble, a doctor should be consulted. In that way, many unnecessary problemswill be averted.

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