Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention
Heart Disease & Stroke are currently amongst the top five leading causes of mortality in the United States. These two pathologies result in serious complications and disabilities drastically changing & negatively impacting patients duration & quality of life. Heart attacks & Strokes have an increasing incidence attributed to underlying lifestyle provoked risk factors. They essentially have very similar underlying pathophysiologies, ending in lack of oxygen and death of cellular components & tissue. It is very important to know the early signs & symptoms because getting help & treatment immediately is crucial. Additionally knowing the major risk factors will aid in prevention.
Heart Attack Overview:
All blood supply to the human body is dependent on the pump action of the heart. Interestingly the heart muscle needs its own blood supply to continue living & working. Simply stated, the heart supplies blood to itself and to the rest of the body.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked leading to oxygen deprivation of the cells.The lack of blood & oxygen over the hours leads to death & destruction of the hearts cellular components rendering the tissue non-functional. Death of the heart cells occurs over a period of time, hence quickly recognizing the signs & symptoms of a heart attack for urgent treatment can help the heart muscle survive.
Important signs include:
- Pressure, tightness or stabbing sensation in chest
- Radiation of pain to shoulder or arms
- Indigestion or abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Cold & clammy extremities
Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke
Modification of Risk Factors:
Different risk factors are involved which plays an important role towards the development of heart attack and stroke.
The leading modifiable factors for heart attack and stroke are:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Poor diet
Knowing your family history regarding heart disease and stroke is important. Some time the risk of Heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol level runs in the family. If you or a loved one has a positive family history for these diseases it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and talk to a doctor about decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Diagnosis of a Heart Attack
The ECK is a medical device that monitors electrical activity of heart muscle. A Cardiologist uses the information to evaluate deprivation of blood & oxygen, tissue death, extent of injury, abnormalities of heart rhythm and much more.
Cardiac Enzyme Test:
In the case of a Myocardial Infarction (death of heart muscle) some cardiac enzymes from within spill out and enter the blood. The resulting elevation of these blood enzyme levels indication of a heart attack.
Recognizing & acting quickly to the signs of Cerebrovascular Accidents is important for the public population to know. Time is brain tissue in situations of stroke. Strokes also occur due to occlusion of blood & oxygen to brain tissue. Urgent medical care is essential.
Usual warning signs of stroke include:
- Sudden Headache
- Sudden dizziness
- Drifting of an upheld arm
- Sudden loss of speech
- Slurred or strange speech
- Facial droop
- Sudden difficulty talking
- Sudden weakness
- Sudden acute memory loss
Role of Health Profession for prevention of heart attack and stroke:
The health professional plays a major role in the prevention of these diseases by providing a full guideline to the patient about the occurrence of disease and about different risk factors that can lead to the development of the disease.
-Your doctor can help you control blood pressure, weight and cholesterol level which are the major contributor to the heart diseases.
-Your health professional also performs routine checkup so that any change in ECG and lab tests that may indicate disease can be identified early and treatment provided.
By helping you control your risk factors your healthcare professional can help you to limit the risk of stroke and heart attack.