Expert Advice on Reducing Your Heart Attack Risk

Expert Advice on Reducing Your Heart Attack Risk

You may often be reminded of the many things that can cause you to have a heart attack. Poor diet, lack of exercise, blah, blah, blah. Well, before you get all YOLO (you only live once), take a look around. If you’d rather throw caution to the wind as a lone rider, that’s one thing, but there’s probably plenty of people who want you around for a while.

Although you have a good idea of how you’re probably doing your heart harm now and again, there are some things you don’t even know you’re doing. There are also others slipped into your everyday routine like a slow turn of the knife already in your chest.

As a result of combined research and scores of small studies, expert advice on reducing your heart attack risk may be a five minute read worth your life.

Your Gender

If you say, ‘heart attack,’ most people picture a man. It turns out that women are in the cross hairs too.

Some sobering statistics from Matthew Budoff, author of ‘Enhancing Heart Health: Preventing a Heart Attack,

“CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) has claimed the lives of more females than males. And the gap between male and female deaths has increased dramatically … In addition, black females are more at risk than white females. According to the statistics, a woman dies of heart disease every minute, more than half a million each year. Annually, heart disease kills 10 times more women than breast cancer.”

If you are female, these are pretty straightforward stats that should have you taking notice so you can start (or continue) some preventative habits such as a more plant based diet and cardiovascular/weight lifting workouts.

The Silent Heart Attack

Another misunderstanding is that a heart attack is a big, painful, dramatic event that immediately requires CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation). However, about 20% to 30% of a subgroup of people may experience what is known as the silent heart attack. This is when the classic symptoms of chest pain, weakness, and sweats do not occur.

Instead, a list of minor presentations arise which could be a sign of a silent heart attack. These might include:

  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Throat, neck, jaw, or single extremity discomfort
  • Middle chest tightening
  • Back pain
  • Nausea

It is silent because there is no drastic change until you visit a doctor and receive an EEG (electroencephalogram). This test can detect heart abnormalities such as damage to the heart. The problem is that is usually administered only during a routine physical. That means that you may not know you’ve had a silent heart attack until months or even a year or more later. This can be a dangerous waiting period.

Keep a lookout for these symptoms and see your doctor if they seem suspect, especially if they are reoccurring.

Know When To Move Into Action

One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is not moving into action when heart attack symptoms arise. Reducing your heart attack risk not only means preventing, but it also means minimizing or directly treating signs of a possible emergency heart event.

A swift reaction is essential when symptoms such as pain down the left arm, difficulty breathing, a crushing feeling in the chest, or dizziness arise.

Here are a few tips on dealing with an on site cardiovascular attack that may reduce heart damage as well as possibly save a life:

  • Follow Them – If someone doesn’t look good (pale, sweating) and abruptly excuses themselves to use the restroom, follow them. Many people run to a bathroom out of embarrassment of their symptoms and end up dying on the lavatory floor.
  • Call 911 – The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that, “In a 2005 survey, most respondents—92%—recognized chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack. Only 27% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a heart attack.”
  • Know Whose at Risk – With approximately 735,000 Americans experiencing a heart attack each year, 525,000 are first timers and 210,000 are having another. If you are with someone who has already experienced a heart attack, being hyper-vigilant to the signs may be essential.
  • Learn CPR – Cardio pulmonary resuscitation is something everyone should be taught. If you can, learn it and teach others.

Taking care of your heart could bring you some continued, well deserved living. Keep this expert advice on reducing your heart attack risk in mind and think about slowly switching over to a more plant based diet, a good exercise program and if you want to go really crazy, some meditation too.