Prevention Research for Cardiovascular Disease
SIGNS AND RISK FACTORS
HEART DISEASE SIGNS & RISK FACTORS
The fatty buildup or plaque can break open and lead to the formation of a blood clot that seals the break. The clot reduces blood flow. The cycle of fatty buildup, plaque rupture, and blood clot formation causes the coronary arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow.
When too little blood reaches the heart muscle, the condition is called ischemia. Chest pain, or angina, may occur. The pain can vary in occurrence and be mild and intermittent, or more pronounced and steady. It can be severe enough to make normal everyday activities difficult. The same inadequate blood supply also may cause no symptoms, a condition called silent ischemia.
- If a blood clot suddenly cuts off most or all blood supply to the heart muscle, a heart attack results. Cells in the heart muscle that do not receive enough oxygen-carrying blood begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. SIGNS OF A HEART ATTACK The average heart attack victim waits two or three hours before going to the hospital! But the drugs doctors use to dissolve blood clots work better the sooner you get them. This goes for both heart attack and stroke. WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A HEART ATTACK Call 911 if you have any of the classic signs listed below. Don’t drive yourself or have anyone else drive you. While you wait for the ambulance, chew an aspirin if you have one. Pain may be constant or come and go: