According to the American Heart Association, approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a heart attack.
In this article, we discuss what a heart attack is, symptoms and treatments, life after a heart attack and ways to reduce your risk of having another heart attack.
What is a heart attack?
Your heart needs oxygen to survive and if the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced, or cut off completely, a heart attack occurs. While there can be several causes, this occurs typically because the arteries that bring the blood to the heart narrow over time with a buildup of fat, cholesterol and plaque. When this plaque breaks, a blood clot forms and can block the blood flow to the heart.
The result of a heart attack is a very damaged heart muscle. The extent of damage depends on the area of the heart that was being supplied by the blocked artery and the time before treatment. In most cases, the heart will take approximately 8 weeks to heal and begin to form scar tissue. This scar tissue may not pump or contract as well as healthy heart tissue, causing a decrease in heart function (think of it as tighter, less elastic than it was.) This is why it is important to take the steps necessary, as recommended by your doctor, to help reduce the chance of a recurrent heart attack.
What are the treatments?
Treatments for heart attack can vary greatly and your doctor will recommend what treatment plan is right for you. However, some of the most common treatments include:
Life after a heart attack
A heart attack is certainly a life-changing event.
According to the American Heart Association, around 20% of patients age 45 and older will have another heart attack within five years of their first.
They also give the following five steps you can take to help reduce your risk of having another heart attack.
During National Heart month and all year long, our talented Cardiology team has the education, experience and caring nature needed to help you live a healthy, enriched life. Click here to learn more: http://bit.ly/AHCPCardio
Written By: S. Campbell for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC.
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