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What are the risk factors and symptoms of a heart attack?

There are various factors that can lead to coronary artery disease (the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart) which can cause a heart attack. Some of these factors are age, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels, diabetes, obesity, and stress.

Risk Factors You Can’t Control

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Heredity

The risk of a heart attack is greater among men, among people who are 65 or older, and among individuals who have a family history of heart disease.

Risk Factors You Can Control

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Nutrition factors

All these factors are changeable or treatable, so a great percentage of avoiding a heart attack is really up to you. Medicating your diseases, avoiding toxins, eating healthy and exercising regularly can do a great deal for you and add years to your life.

Signs of a Heart Attack

Some heart attacks start suddenly with intense symptoms, but most of them develop slowly with mild symptoms. It is very important to pay special attention to your body and call 911 immediately in case of:

  • Any discomfort in the chest. This can last for a few minutes, or disappears and starts again after a while. Sometimes it feels like a big pressure, weight or sharp pain.
  • Any discomfort in other areas, including abnormal sensations or pain in the arms, the neck, the jaw, the back or even the stomach.
  • Other signs can be shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, cold sweat, weakness, tiredness.

The symptoms of a heart attack may differ in women and men. Although chest pain is the most common symptom for both genders, for women the chance that the other symptoms appear is greater.

Sometimes the signs of a heart attack are not quite obvious. It is much safer to call 911 anyway and to check it out in a hospital, than being without help in a serious situation when every minute counts.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/