Over the years, researchers have collected enough evidence to prove that death due to heart disease is on the rise in India. Since cardiovascular disease strikes Indians a decade earlier than people across the globe, an increasing number of heart attacks happen among people between 30 to 69 years. Which brings us to the question – can we predict a heart attack?
Dr Ankur Phatarpekar, Director Cath Lab and Intervention Cardiologist, Symboisis Hospital, Mumbai says, “Detecting a heart attack at the very initial phase can be very difficult for people, however, the most common which we see is profuse sweating with chest pain. Chest pain, which is associated with profuse sweating, breathlessness, uneasiness, would be the signs of having serious heart ailments and people self-diagnose and ignore this considering it can be simple acidity or muscular pain. It is advisable to everyone if they ever feel any such symptom, the first step is to immediately go to a hospital and get an ECG done and seek medical attention.” Sometimes excessive fatigue and excessive tiredness are symptoms which are very nonspecific but might lead to a heart attack. So, any of the symptoms which are not normal should always be checked with the family physician or a cardiologist. People are also advised to go for ECG testing on a monthly basis to keep heart health in check. “Young people usually do not expect heart attack to be the cause of the left side chest pain so what happens is they present late or even their family members understand this very late. And as a result, what happens is because of slowly developing blockages, there might be natural bypasses collateral which might have opened but in younger individuals especially young smokers these collaterals are not developed. So, any occlusion which is acute has very bad consequences. If any heart ailment or high BP is not treated early, it can have dire consequences,” he adds.
Highlighting the range of symptoms, Dr. Jaideep Menon, Consultant, Adult Cardiology, Amrita Hospital, Kochi shares, “Most individuals have a prodrome prior to the actual pain of a myocardial infarction, ranging from gaseous eructation, an urge for bowel movement, nausea, restlessness, fatigue etc, this may precede the actual event by a few hours or even days. None of the symptoms are persistent, especially in individuals with a risk for heart disease.” Commenting on whether heat impacts someone’s chances of getting a heart attack, he further adds, “Literature tells us that acute cardiac events are higher in the extremes of temperatures, both heat and cold. Heat waves increase cardiac events as has been evidenced in the US as also extremes of cold.”
We know that heart attack is due to blockage in coronary arteries which is due to clot formation inside the artery. The atheroma plaque ruptures and forms a clot with blood. To prevent death from a heart attack, urgent CCU care is required.
Doctors suggest that if you are diabetic, hypertensive, smoker with a family history of heart attacks- you should be more careful.