According to the American Heart Association, heart attack warning signs involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes (or that goes away and comes back). They describe it like an “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.” Signs can also include discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or lightheadedness. As heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the U.S. as well as globally, it is important to know the facts and a great resource for up-to-date information is the American Heart Association’s website.
The site has lots of current information on the causes and treatment for atherosclerosis, which is the disease that develops when plaque builds up inside the arteries. Once plaque has built up and narrowed the arteries, it is more difficult for the blood to flow through and increases the chance of a blood clot forming that can stop blood from flowing altogether. Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.
Ischemic strokes are the most common type of strokes and occur when a blood vessel that feeds the brain is blocked (typically from a blood clot). Hemorrhagic strokes are caused when weakened blood vessels rupture. There are two types of weakened blood vessels that are typically responsible: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is not pumping blood as effectively as it should, and thus, not meeting the body’s blood and oxygen needs. It is one of the most common causes of hospitalization in adults 65 years and older. Treatment includes medications, surgery and lifestyle changes. If left untreated, the problem can worsen.
Our post is for information purposes only and not a substitute for seeking medical advice from your health care provider.
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