Every year about 805,000 Americans experience a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sadly, about 12% do not survive.
What you need to know:
Know your risk
A heart attack can happen at any age, but the risk increases for men after age 45 and for women after age 55 or after menopause. In addition to age, other risk factors include:
• Family history of early heart disease
• High blood sugar, blood pressure, and/or cholesterol
• Unhealthy diet (high in saturated fat, added sugar, sodium, etc)
• Being overweight or inactiveIt’s important to talk with your provider about your personal heart attack risk.
Recognize the warning signs
• Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and returns
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
• Shortness of breath
• Cold sweats, nausea, or light-headedness
Women are more likely than men to experience unusual fatigue and weakness, nausea and vomiting and back or jaw pain. Most heart attacks start slowly, as mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms can come and go and be confused with heartburn or indigestion.
If you or someone else experiences symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately. The damage to your heart muscle becomes greater the longer medical attention is delayed. According to the American Heart Association, most people wait more than two hours to get help. Heart attack treatments work best if they’re given within an hour after symptoms start.
The body has amazing recuperative powers. While it can take time and some lifestyle changes, you can take comfort in knowing that a full recovery is possible.
Expect to visit your doctor regularly for tests and checkups. He orshe will want to make sure your heart is recovering well. You mayalso be given medication to relieve chest pain, lower your cholester-ol or blood pressure, reduce your heart’s workload, and help preventblood clotting.
How we can help:
Whether you want to assess your risks, begin steps towards prevention, follow up after a heart attack or establish with a cardiologist for other heart-related issues, Central Missouri Cardiology is here for you. Capital Region Physicians-Central Missouri Cardiology is the area’s only dedicated cardiovascular center with an entire team of board-certified cardiologists.