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Heart Attack Heart liable the fatal attack

Reviewed by
Dr. Sunil Prajapati

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isnít restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen an Certain risk factors make it more likely that you will develop coronary artery disease (CAD) and have a heart attack. Some risk factors for heart attack can be controlled, while others can't.

Major risk factors for heart attack that you can control include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)

Risk factors that you can't change include:

  • Age. Risk increases for men older than 45 years and for women older than 55 years (or after menopause).
  • Family history of early CAD. Your risk increases if your father or a brother was diagnosed with CAD before 55 years of age, or if your mother or a sister was diagnosed with CAD before 65 years of age.

Certain CAD risk factors tend to occur together. When they do, itís called metabolic syndrome. In general, a person with metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone without metabolic syndrome.

Get Help Quickly

Acting fast at the first sign of heart attack symptoms can save your life and limit damage to your heart. Treatment is most effective when started within 1 hour of the beginning of symptoms.

Clinical features of heart attack

  • Mild to severe discomfort in the centre of the chest, arms, upper back or jaw. The character of the pain is similar to angina, but is usually severe and lasts longer than 20 minutes. Unlike in angina, it is not relieved by nitroglycerine or rest.
  • Feeling of a pressure or crushing pain in your chest, many a times accompanied by sidekicks like sweating, nausea or vomiting, breathlessness, palpitations, severe weakness or even a sense of impending doom.
  • At times, it is silent (without pain), usually in diabetics. They may experience only breathlessness, sweating or weakness.


Each year, about 1.1 million people in the United States have heart attacks, and almost half of them die. CAD, which often results in a heart attack, is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States.

Many more people could recover from heart attacks if they got help faster. Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within an hour of the first symptoms and before they reach the hospital.

Early treatment can prevent or limit damage to the heart muscle. Acting fast, at the first symptoms of heart attack, can save your life. Medical personnel can begin diagnosis and treatment even before you get to the hospital.

Certain treatments are usually started right away if a heart attack is suspected, even before the diagnosis is confirmed. These include:

  • Oxygen
  • Aspirin to prevent further blood clotting
  • Nitroglycerin, to reduce the workload on the heart and improve blood flow through the coronary arteries
  • Treatment for chest pain

Once the diagnosis of heart attack is confirmed or strongly suspected, treatments to try to restore blood flow to the heart are started as soon as possible. Treatments include medicines and medical procedures.


A number of different kinds of medicines may be used to treat heart attack. They include the following.

  • Thrombolytic Medicines
  • Beta Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors
  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelet Medicines

Medical Procedures

  • Angioplasty
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

For further information contact:

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