Risk factors-Heart Attack

There are many factors that contribute to your chances of suffering heart disease. It is the interplay of these varied conditions that adds up to each person's overall risk.Check Mail Earn Money Online

Some things you can't change. But changing your lifestyle choices is the best way to reduce the chances of developing heart disease, and of improving your condition if you already have it.                                                    

Main risk factors

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Age – risk increases as you age
  • Gender – men are at greater risk of predisposing conditions
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese.

Additional factors 

Stress is considered a potential trigger. Whether stress contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries is not proven, but it does raise blood pressure, and can affect your quality of life. 

Depression has been acknowledged by the Australian Heart Foundation as a risk factor in heart disease. In assessing the evidence the Heart Foundation reported that there is strong and consistent evidence that people who experience depression, or are socially isolated, or do not have quality social support, are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.

For people who already have coronary heart disease, depression, social isolation or lack of quality social support can affect their recovery and future health.

What you can't changeCheck Mails Earn Money online

A family history of heart disease
Your genes can predispose you to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes - all factors in developing heart disease. If your parents or siblings developed heart disease when fairly young (males at under 45, females at under 55), you should be particularly alert.

Even so, a healthy lifestyle and regular medical checks can significantly reduce your risk.

Remember, what happens in your family may not be genetic. Families don't just share genes, they can also share poor lifestyle habits, like eating badly and not being active. A healthy lifestyle is the best weapon any family has against heart disease.

Increasing age
Both men and women are more likely to develop heart disease as they get older. In 2007, 62% of Australians over 75 had heart disease, as did 23% of those aged 45–54 years.

  • Men are more prone to developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. 
  • All men who are middle-aged and older should have regular health checks. They should eat healthily and have moderate exercise at least four times a week.
  • Older women are much more prone to heart disease than is widely thought. After menopause or a hysterectomy, hormonal changes and other factors put women at far greater risk.

The answer is the same: regular medical checks, healthy eating and plenty of moderate exercise.                                                                                                                                                                         

Diabetes is a disease marked by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Over time this damages the arteries and veins. There is no cure for diabetes, but the disease can be controlled. The most common form, type 2 diabetes, is largely preventable through a healthy, active lifestyle. 


What you can change

Smoking affects the health of the smoker and of the people around them, including children. There is nothing good to be said about it.

But here's something good to say about giving up. Within weeks of your last cigarette, your risk of heart disease has already fallen. Within 2 years you're back to the risk level of a non-smoker. You also have improved lung function, your sense of taste back and more money in the bank.

Physical inactivity
Being inactive increases your chance of heart disease - second only to smoking as a risk factor. If you are inactive, you are almost twice as likely to suffer coronary heart disease, compared to those who get enough exercise. Thirty minutes a day is enough to bring wide-ranging benefits.

Poor diet
Eating food that is high in saturated fats and salt, and low in fibre, vitamins and minerals, can increase your risk of heart disease. Fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and dietary fibre are all good for heart health, and also protect against other illnesses.

Being overweight or obese
Being overweight heightens two major risk factors for heart disease - high blood pressure and diabetes. The risk can increase by a factor of 10. Combined with regular exercise, a well-balanced diet can help you achieve gradual weight loss. Even moderate loss (5–10%) brings major health gains.

High blood pressure
A high salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure. But you can help lower your blood pressure through a low-salt, low saturated-fat diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and regular exercise.

High cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of coronary heart disease and of heart attack. A diet that is high in fibre and low in saturated fats and cholesterol can help reduce your cholesterol levels.

Heart Attack Symptoms & Warning Signals

The term "heart attack" is often used to refer to signs and symptoms that result from the sudden blockage
of blood flow to a portion of the heart. A blockage in the heart's arteries may reduce or completely cut off the
blood supply to a portion of the heart. This can cause a blood clot to form and totally stop blood flow in a
coronary artery, resulting in a heart attack (also called an acute myocardial infarction or MI). Without good
blood flow, the heart does not receive enough oxygen and begins to die.

Heart Attack Symptoms & Warning Signals:-

People suffering a heart attack may experience symptoms such as chest pain, sweating, nausea,
weakness, and shortness of breath. Each year about 1.5 million Americans have heart attacks. Heart disease
remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
Heart attack is the common term for a "myocardial infarction." This refers to the permanent damage done to
the heart muscle, or myocardium, when blood flow is blocked. A heart attack most commonly happens when
a blood vessel that brings blood to the heart is suddenly blocked by a blood clot.
While heart attacks usually come on suddenly, it's really the result of a process that takes years to develop.
Over time, a person's blood vessels may become hardened and narrowed by the buildup of cholesterol and
other fatty substances. Reducing risk factors for coronary artery disease such as high cholesterol or high
blood pressure is an important way to prevent a first or subsequent heart attack.

A heart attack usually occurs over several hours. Fast action is the best weapon against a heart attack. If a
person is treated during the first two hours after a heart attack, early treatments can improve outcomes. The
coronary arteries supply the heart muscle with oxygen and nutrients. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease. Coronary heart disease develops when one or more of the coronary
arteries that supply the blood to the heart become narrower than they used to be, due to the buildup of
cholesterol and other substances in the wall of the artery, affecting the blood flow to the heart muscle.
Without an adequate blood supply, heart muscle tissue can be damaged.

Deposits of cholesterol and other fat-like substances can build up in the inner lining of these blood vessels
and become coated with scar tissue, forming a cholesterol-rich bump in the blood vessel wall known as
plaque. Plaque buildup narrows and hardens the blood vessel, a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening
of the arteries.
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack:-

 •  Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few
•  Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like
pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck,
jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.
•  Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
•  Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.
•  Paleness or pallor.
•  Increased or irregular heart rate.
•  Feeling of impending doom.
Note: Not all of these warning signs, symptoms occur in every heart attack. Sometimes they go away and
return. If some occur, get help fast. If you notice one or more of these signs in yourself or others, don't wait.


What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a term for several diseases and conditions, including heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. It is the world's leading cause of death and disability. Every 10 minutes, an Australian dies as a result of these health problems. 

The term cardiovascular disease is also used. 'Cardio' refers to the heart, and 'vascular' to the blood vessels (arteries and veins).

A number of conditions involve the heart or the circulation of blood through the blood vessels:

  • coronary heart disease
  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • stroke
  • arrhythmias  abnormal heart beats
  • aneurysm – a bulge caused by weakening of the heart muscle or artery
  • septal defect – an abnormal opening between the left and right sides of the heart  
  • peripheral vascular disease – a disease of the large blood vessels of the arms, legs, and feet
  • rheumatic heart disease – caused by rheumatic fever, and mainly affecting the heart valves 
  • congenital heart disease – defects or malformations in the heart or blood vessels that occur before birth.

Can you prevent heart disease?

Some conditions, such as heart defects, tend to be genetic and cannot be prevented.  

But several things are known to increase the risk of developing heart disease. These include smoking and lack of exercise. Whether you have some of these risk factors depends to some extent on circumstances, including income, education, and access to health care.

People with two or more risk factors in their lives are much more likely to get heart disease than those with one or none.

Healthy living lowers your risk

By improving your lifestyle, including your diet and level of fitness, you can minimise your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Even if you have two or more risk factors, you can still make changes that will reduce your chances of developing heart problems.