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Heart Attack

Signs, symptoms and how to avoid a heart attack

Kane Stephens

on 8 October 2012

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Transcript of Heart Attack

HEART ATTACK WHAT IS THE DISEASE? In the middle of the cardiovascular system lies the heart. A simple summary of the heart would be that via vessels, the heart pumps the blood needed by all body cells. The blood carries red blood cells that transports the oxygen which all cells need to operate. Cardiovascular or heart disease is a group of problems that occur when the heart and blood vessels aren't working the way they should. One of the problems that I will be focusing on is heart attacks as they can be a severe threat to an individual's life. HEART ATTACK Occurs when there's a blood clot or other blockage cuts blood flow to a part of the heart. If this blood flow isn't retained quickly, the section of heart muscle may begin to die. Without early medical treatment, this damage can be permanent. Did you know?
Coronary heart disease kills more Australians than any other single disease: 22,983 deaths in 2006. This was 17% of all death.
Older people get coronary heart disease much more commonly: 7.5% of Australians aged 55-65 years have coronary heart disease increasing to 20.3% for those aged 75 years or over.
men get coronary heart disease more commonly than women. CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS Heart disease isn't contagious - you can't catch it like a flu or cold. However there are certain things that can be involved in individuals standard of living that can increase the chance of heart attacks. These are generally called risk factors.

Risk factors
-smoking - both active smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke
-high blood cholesterol
-high blood pressure
-physical inactivity
-being overweight
-depression, social isolation and a lack of social support

However these causes or risk factors are not permanent and can be changed
There are also unfortunately ones that cannot be changed such as being a male, increasing age and having a family history of coronary heart disease. CAUSES
One of the first and most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain or discomfort. This pain generally involves the centre or left side of the chest and can last for more than a few minutes. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure that is squeezing your chest and can vary from mild to severe pain. After a few minutes of chest pain, it may disappear but come back, sometimes even more severe than the last. Some say that heart attack pain can sometimes feel like indigestion or heartburn.

Heart attacks can have similar symptoms to that of angina, however the difference is that angina usually only lasts for only a few minutes and goes away with rest. Whereas heart attack symptoms usually do not go away. SYMPTOMS Unfortunately chest pain isn't the only symptom of heart attacks, other common symptoms include:
•upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or upper part of the stomach
•Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort
•Nausea, vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness and breaking out in a cold sweat.
•Even sleep problems, fatigue, or lack of energy

It is very crucial to obtain medical treatment as soon as possible if feeling any of these symptoms to decrease the chance of getting heart attack. The symptoms can be very dangerous and alarming as some can develop suddenly or develop slowly. Sometimes they can develop within hours, days and even weeks before an actual heart attack occurs. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DISEASE THERE ARE 5 STEPS TO HELP PREVENT HEART DISEASE IMPROVING SYMPTOMS The decisions that we make today can have an enormous impact on our future. In terms of our health some of our choices can lead to heart diseases that in result can cause very severe heart attacks. In modern times, our exposure to the media and technology can manipulate the wrong choices such as what we eat, how often we exercise and whether we choose to smoke or drink alcohol. This is why lifestyle diseases are one of the leading causes of death in Australia. We should all be familiar with the phrase "you are what you eat". When a poor diet is mixed a with sedentary lifestyle, it is much easier for that person to become overweight or obese. Obesity has strong links with heart disease and will also increase a person's chance of getting a heart attack. Someone who is overweight should be wary of their physical activity to sedentary lifestyle ratio. Most people don't understand that many of heart attack symptoms happen without ourselves realising it is. In result a heart attack could come without warning. People should realise that regularly participating in any form of exercise that causes yourself to break a sweat, can significantly reduce your chance of getting a heart disease. SMOKING Our heart circulates oxygen and nutrients around the body. However the whilst circulating the body, our blood can also carry waste products like poisons from cigarettes. This poison is then carried to different parts of the body. It is said that the risk of having a heart attack is six times higher in smokers. Also smoking is thought to account for almost 40% of first heart attacks. That is why another major contributor to heart disease is smoking. It cannot be said enough that in order to prevent heart disease you should not smoke. It makes your heart have to work harder, which in result increases blood pressure. The faster people quit smoking the healthier the heart will become. Don't smoke!
As I discussed before, smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. The chemicals in tobacco can severely damage the heart and blood vessels, narrowing the arteries and increasing the chance of having a heart attack. It is never too late to quit smoking and people will see incredible results after doing so. 1 Exercise!
An average individual should be aiming to getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately physical activity most days of the week. Even shorter amounts can still benefit the heart, however they should be done more frequently. Physical activity can help control an individual's weight and their chances of developing other heart conditions. 2 Healthy diet!
A healthy diet is very important, especially when considering the types of fats that we consume. When managing a healthy diet, consumers need to remember that it isn't all about cutting back as more people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. Doing so will not only prevent heart disease, but prevent cancer too. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products will help protect the heart. 3 Healthy weight!
As we put on more weight, it is common that the weight gain is caused by a gain in fat rather than muscle. The excess weight can lead to conditions that increase the chance of having a heart attack such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. 4 Regular health tests!
Most of us will know that a high blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the heart and blood vessels. The problem however is that most people don't have the equipment to justify whether this is the case for them. That is why regular tests for blood pressure and cholesterol level is essential. The time needed to ask a doctor is small and they can provide information as to whether you need to take action. 5
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