Can heart attack be predicted?
Yes, you can predict it in most of the patients. Advancing age, a strong family history of cardiovascular illnesses, high blood pressure, diabetes, excess weight, smoking, high LDL cholesterol levels, and a sedentary lifestyle are strong predictors of heart attack.
Is there a blood test that predicts a heart attack?
A blood test known as troponin is a valuable test, if positive suggests damage to the heart muscles and therefore a heart attack. Troponin is a protein that is released in the bloodstream after a heart attack. It also may predict the extent of heart muscle damage. A troponin test, if normal, done successfully over 3 occasions at 6 hourly intervals, may rule out a heart attack.
What are some common symptoms of heart attack?
Besides chest pain in the middle of the chest, intense sweating, and severe unexplained exhaustion, there are other symptoms of a heart attack. Pain in the upper abdomen, pain in the chest going up the throat, pain in the back in between the shoulder blades, gasses, belching with acidity-like symptoms, vomiting, dizziness, giddiness, blackouts, and palpitations are also associated with heart attack.
What should be done under these circumstances?
If the predictors of a heart attack are high, such individuals should get themselves examined by a doctor and an ECG should be done. A Troponin test may be carried out. Do not take these symptoms lightly, as they may predict a heart attack. The deaths due to heart attacks are maximum in the first few hours.
Can you get a heart attack if you are in your 20s or 30s?
Certainly yes. The age of getting a heart attack is no longer in the middle age The diagnosis of a heart attack is made by assessing the symptoms, examination of the patient, and ECG and certain blood tests. There are several predisposing factors to having a heart attack. If the risk factors or predictors of cardiovascular diseases are assessed, then prevention becomes easier.
Old age. In fact, you can have a sudden cardiac death even if you are around 20 to 40 years of age.
Why younger people are having such unexplained deaths?
Though the death is sudden, many have many predisposing factors. The commonest is a poor lifestyle. Most of them are unaware of their blood glucose levels or their cholesterol levels. A combination of smoking, tobacco, alcohol obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle makes a deadly combination. After 20 years of age, a proper medical check including a stress ECG may be required if you have multiple risk factors.
Is there a role for a CT scan of the coronary arteries or a CT angiogram?
These are useful tests. A high calcium score supports your decision to be on statins on a long-term basis. This does not require contrast. However, a CT angiogram has more of a negative predictive value.
Should we take Aspirin to prevent heart attack?
Aspirin is most useful to prevent a second heart attack after angioplasty or bypass surgery, or in patients with angina. In the elderly, it is not recommended for primary prevention, though you should discuss this with your family doctor.
What can prevent a heart attack?
Have regular exercises including walking. Have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Strictly avoid smoking and excess alcohol. Manage your weight if you are overweight. Keep your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol within normal limits. Be extra careful if you have a family history of heart attack. There is almost an epidemic of cardiovascular diseases in our subcontinent. A good lifestyle, periodic check-ups, and effective treatment of risk factors may be the only way to prevent heart attack.