The Silent Killer's Heart Attack
A heart attack is a condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or blocked. Blockage of blood flow to the heart can occur due to a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the heart (coronary) arteries.These fatty deposits or buildup contain cholesterol which is called plaque. Meanwhile, the process of plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis. Sometimes, the plaque can break off and form a clot that blocks blood. The lack of blood flow can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle.
Heart attacks are often also called "the silent killer" because they are often without complaints, so the sufferer does not know that he has hypertension, but then finds himself already having a complicating disease or complications from hypertension.
Heart Attack Risk Factors
There are several risk factors that can trigger a heart attack, including:
- Age factor
Men aged 45 years and over and women aged over 55 years are more likely to have a heart attack, than men and women who are younger.
The lifestyle of smokers and frequent exposure to cigarette smoke in the long term and often can also trigger heart attacks
Over time, high blood pressure or hypertension can damage the arteries leading to the heart. High blood pressure caused by other conditions, such as obesity, high cholesterol, or diabetes, increases the risk of heart attack even higher.
Obesity or overweight related to high blood pressure, diabetes,high triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. All of these factors can increase the risk of heart attack.
- Family history.
If you have a sibling, parent, or grandparent who has had a heart attack, you may be at increased risk too.
- Lack of exercise
Rarely exercising or doing physical activity is also associated with a high risk of heart attack. In fact, frequent regular exercise can improve heart health
- Unhealthy diet
Eating foods that contain lots of sugar, animal fat, trans fat, and salt can increase the risk of heart attack.
Emotional stress disorders, such as excessive anger, can increase the risk of heart attack.
- Use of illegal drugs
Please note, cocaine and amphetamines are stimulants, which can trigger coronary artery spasms, causing heart attacks.
- Autoimmune conditions
Having conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can increase your risk of a heart attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Symptoms of a heart attack can occur differently for everyone, even for each attack. There are people who experience mild symptoms, there are also those who experience severe symptoms. There are even those who experience no symptoms at all. But the common symptoms that often occur in a heart attack are:
- Incredible chest pain, feels like pressure and tightness
- Pain or discomfort that radiates to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, jaw, teeth or sometimes the upper abdomen
- Cold sweat suddenly
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Sudden lightheadedness or dizziness
- Hard to breathe
In women, symptoms may be atypical, such as a brief or sharp pain felt in the neck, arm, or back. Sometimes, the first symptom of a heart attack is sudden cardiac arrest.
Heart attack prevention
It's not too late, if you want to prevent a heart attack, here's how to prevent a heart attack:
- Live a healthy lifestyle
- Get regular exercise
- Conduct regular medical check-ups
- Consume healthy food
- Take medicine according to doctor's instructions
- Enough rest
Heart attack treatment
People who are having a heart attack should be immediately taken to the hospital to get the right and fast treatment, because if they are handled incorrectly, the lives that should be saved cannot be saved. RSU Hermina Medan has a cardiologist who is very competent and supported by tools that are capable of dealing with problems related to heart disease.