Heart Attack Prevention

Heart Health

A heart attack , also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the body cannot maintain sufficient oxygenated blood flow to the heart muscle. This causes the tissue to become damaged, ultimately interrupting the natural functions of the heart. While a heart attack can be devastating and even deadly, there are ways to help prevent a heart attack from occurring.

Causes
One of the first steps toward heart attack prevention is to understand the causes. Heart attacks may be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Accumulation of fatty plaques within the coronary arteries
  • Narrowing of the coronary arteries
  • Blood clots in the coronary arteries
  • Embolism

Prevention Tips
While some individuals are genetically predisposed to heart attacks, there are several ways to reduce risk. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, beginning a safe exercise program, managing stress, and in some cases your doctor may recommend taking small daily doses of aspirin.

Signs and Symptoms
To prevent long-term, serious effects of a heart attack is to get immediate medical help at the first sign of an attack. Symptoms commonly associated with a heart attack include:

  • Intense chest pain or a painful ‘squeezing’ sensation in the chest
  • Pain in the left arm, left shoulder, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Sweating or clammy skin
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety and feelings of doom
  • Loss of consciousness

It is important to remember that the symptoms of a heart attack may differ in women. For example, women tend to experience stomach pain, back and shoulder pain, confusion, and fainting.

For more information on heart attack prevention, visit Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center online or contact us at (805) 497-2727 for the care and support you deserve.

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