Heart attack occurs when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to the heart muscle. Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease
- The coronary arteries (vessels that supply blood to the heart) get narrow due to deposition of fatty materials and cholesterol (plaque).
- When the plaque breaks, it causes a blood clot to form
- This blood clot blocks the blood flow to the heart leading to heart attack.
- Family medical history
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Being obese
- Diabetes mellitus
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive alcohol intake
How is heart attack diagnosed?
After the initial blood test, several invasive and non-invasive tests can be performed to confirm diagnosis of heart disease.
- ECG: An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a short test that monitors the electrical activity of the heart on a strip of paper. It takes about 5-10 minutes to perform.
- Echocardiogram: Echocardiogram is performed to assess heart valves and heart muscles. It is performed by a specialist doctor and takes 15-20 minutes to perform.
- Chest X-ray: Chest X-ray is performed to determine the cause of shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Stress test: During a stress test, you will be asked to ride a stationary bicycle, walk or run on a treadmill for several minutes. At the same time doctor will monitor your body’s reaction to exercise as your heart rate increases.
- Holter monitor: Holter monitor is a device that can monitor heart activity for up to 24 or more hours.
- CT scan A computed tomography (CT) scan is performed to diagnose several different types of heart diseases, for example, to check for fatty deposit in coronary vessels.
- Coronary angiography and cardiac catheterization: A long flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through a blood vessel in your groin or other parts of your body, which is then moved towards your heart to assess coronary artery for any narrowing or blood clot.
- Stop smoking
- Control blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Control cholesterol levels in the blood (hyperlipidemia)
- Maintain blood sugar levels in the blood (Diabetes mellitus)
|Fasting plasma glucose||≥ 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dl)
|2-h plasma glucose||≥ 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dl)
- Do regular exercise
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Healthy BMI should be between 18.5 – 22.9Kg/m²