Joy. Heart. Care.

Heart Attack 101

How would one feel when you say, “I’ve just had a heart attack?” or that someone you love just had one. Disbelief, shock and follows suit is a throng of questions that would make you feeling jiggered.

It is therefore essential that as a normal individual, one should be able to discern if a common folk is suffering from an acute attack. Most commonly, the cause of chest pain is due to myocardial ischemia (MI, heart attack). Symptoms include chest tightness, pressure, heaviness, breathlessness, pain exaggerated by exertion or relieved by rest. Other symptoms include radiation of pain to either the jaw, neck or shoulder, nausea and vomiting, excessive sweating and palpitation.

How do you know, if you’re susceptible to getting a heart attack? Follows are the risk factors that may predispose you to getting an MI:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Diabetes Mellitus
  3. Dyslipidemia (high cholesterol levels)
  4. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake
  5. Physical Inactivity
  6. Obesity
  7. Male gender
  8. Increasing age
  9. Competitive and stressful lifestyle
  10. Strong family history of myocardial infarction

Chest pain accounts for approximately six million annual visits to emergency departments (ED) in the United States alone, making it the second most common complaint. We, clinicians are trained to discern life threatening aetiologies. One can appear deceptively well, manifesting no abnormalities at all, leaving even the most trained physicians baffled. Therefore, if you have any of the risk factors listed above, please be advised to have a regular follow-up either with your General Practioneer or hospital. After all, prevention is better than cure. As a general rule of thumb, eat healthy, exercise at least 30minutes daily, and if you are on medication – compliance is of utmost importance. If you’re a smoker, quit smoking, it does not only saves your life, but others around you.

If you have any symptoms mentioned above, do visit the nearest clinic or hospital for further evaluation. 

heart attack, myocardial ischemia, chest tightness, pressure, heaviness, breathlessness, sweating, fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, pain in arm, pain in back, pain in neck, palpitation, radiating pain, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, physical inactivity, obesity, increasing age, stressful lifestyle, family history

About The Author
Dr. Devalagan Muthalagan holds an MBBS from IMU. Currently, he is serving as a House Officer at Hospital Taiping.

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