Heart attacks are also known under the name of myocardial infarction or MI. A heart attack usually happens when the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen for a rather long period of time, due to the blood vessels obstruction which bring blood to the heart. Heart attacks are the number one reason of death in the USA.
Here are some important facts about heart attacks:
- Risk factors that may lead to a heart attack, but can’t be changed, are race, age, family history, prior heart attacks, gender and stroke.
- Risk factors that lead to a heart attacks, but can be changed, include smoking cigarettes, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, poorly eating, obesity and a sedentary life.
- Pain, pressure, discomfort or a squeezing sensation right in the middle of the chest is a sign of heart attack. The pain can radiate into the arms, shoulders, jaws and can be from mild to really intense. Other feelings include nausea, fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, sweating, cold skin and anxiety.
- Women are said to experience less severe symptoms or no symptoms at all. This is why women get misdiagnosed all the time and this is why there are more women out there who die of a heart attack than men.
- Around 700.000 people in the USA die each year due to heart attacks or any cardiovascular disease. Experts say that almost 50% of the people suffering from a heart attack come to the hospital in a few hours.
Although there are factors that can’t be modified, there are also factors that influence your body and that could actually be changed. Here is how you can stay away from a heart attack:
- Quit smoking – by smoking, you increase your blood pressure and the number of plagues on your arteries. Both can lead to a cardiovascular disease or a heart attack. It is best to put the cigarette down for good this time.
- Exercise – working out keeps your weight in check, diminishing the chances of being a victim of any cardiovascular disease or a heart attack. At the same time, working out regularly makes your heart stronger and prevents any clogging of the arteries. You will also be able to manage diabetes better, one of the diseases that put your heart at risk.
- Dink alcohol moderately – while a glass of red wine can actually help you, too many drinks can raise your blood pressure and increase the chances of having a heart attack.
- Incorporate fibers in your diet – veggies and fruits are packed with fibers, which lower the cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reducing the risk of getting a heart attack. They are also a rich source of antioxidants which prevent clogging and inflammation.
- Reduce saturated fats – choose meat with less fat in order to maintain your saturated fats intake at the lowest level. You can also add skinless chicken and turkey breast to your diet, but also other sources of protein such as tofu, fish, seeds, nuts and legumes.
- Manage stress – learn how to deal with the daily stress in order to prevent a possible heart attack. Exercise, do yoga, meditate or do other activity that you like.
As you can see, heart attacks can be prevented with a little bit of effort. Now is the time to take care of you.