Heart Attack : FAQs
Myocardial infarction (mi): Heart attack
What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
Chest pain or pressure is a common symptom of heart attack. Cardiac chest pain is often vague, or dull, and may be described as a pressure or band-like sensation, squeezing, heaviness, or other discomfort. Heart attacks frequently occur from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.due to higher adrenaline (a hormone that prepares the body for fight or flight) levels released by the adrenal glands during the morning hours. Interestingly, heart attacks do not usually happen during exercise, although exercise is commonly associated with angina (heart pain). Approximately 1/4th of all heart attacks are silent i.e. without associated chest pain. In diabetics, the incidence of “silent” heart attacks may be much higher.
Heart attack victims may complain of:-
>heartburn and/or indigestion,
>arm pain (more commonly the left arm, but may be either),
>upper back pain,
>general malaise (vague feeling of illness),
>shortness of breath.
According to statistics, heart attacks prove fatal in approximately one-third cases. A heart attack, therefore, requires immediate medical attention. Survivors of a heart attack always run the risk of, heart failure due to weakness of the heart muscle, heart rhythm disturbances, and reinfarction (a repeat heart attack). Therefore, at the first signs of even one of the symptoms of a heart attack, such as a sudden chest pain brought on either by exercise or with no apparent cause, and that does not improve with rest or medication- a doctor should immediately be consulted.
Next: How does the disease progress?
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