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Heart Attack

Uploaded by mumsa1 on Jan 09, 2012

Heart attacks are more common in men than women.

In this article:
What is a heart attack?
Advice & Support

How Chemist Online can hep

What is a heart attack?
A heart attack can be an extremely traumatic experience not only for the person having the attack, but also for those around them at the time.

Simply put, a heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries (blood vessels) leading to the heart become blocked. Not enough blood, oxygen and nutrients reach the heart, and the heart ‘panics’ as a result, with part of the heart muscle dieing and a whole range of symptoms occurring throughout this process.

Symptoms of a heart attack include:

Severe chest pain (accompanied by a kind of tightening or crushing feeling that comes on suddenly and stops you in your tracks, or is preceded with symptoms of angina)
A feeling similar to that of acute heartburn
Pain spreading through other parts of the body (the arms, neck, back and jaw)

For some people (particularly the elderly or those with diabetes) there may be no symptoms at all – the attack has occurred without your actual knowledge. If this is the case, the ‘evidence’ of your heart attack is highlighted through an electrocardiograph test (ECG) after the event – please see Diagnosis section below.

Note: After a heart attack, some people develop depressive illness during their long rehabilitation process, usually due to the incapacitation over this time. (Please see details for the Depression Alliance at the Advice & Support section at the foot of this article).

Causes of heart attacks can include:

high blood pressure
high blood cholesterol
being diabetic
poor diet (which is high in saturated fats)
lack of exercise, and
simply as a result of getting older (in the UK, men over 45 and women over 55 are more likely to have a heart attack)
Some people may also have a genetic predisposition to developing a heart disease and then suffering from a heart attack as a result. (This is means that heart disease is already in the family – the susceptibility to having a heart attack is passed down.)

If someone is seriously at risk of having a heart attack, this is usually diagnosed through:

Blood tests
Monitoring of heart rate
Measuring of blood pressure
A 5-minute electrocardiogram (ECG) – to locate blocked or partially blocked coronary arteries. The ECG also traces the electrical activity of the heart – where tiny electrical signals are produced with each heart beat.

Treatments following a heart attack...

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Uploaded by:   mumsa1

Date:   01/09/2012

Category:   Medicine

Length:   3 pages (759 words)

Views:   2604

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