Heart Health

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LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Heart attacks are a worry a number of people face as they age.
The immediate symptom you probably think of is chest pain, but 1/3 of patients experience symptoms other than that while having a heart attack.
Dr. Kshetrapal joins us to discuss heart health.

Symptoms of heart attack include:
Chest pain
General malaise
Frank exhaustion

Nature of chest pain of heart attack
Generally severe
Varies in intensity
Usually central
Described as constricting, crushing, oppressing
Weight on chest
Can be stabbing
Can radiate to arms, shoulder blades, jaw

Other symptoms:
Nausea and vomiting
Profound weakness
Cold perspiration
Sense of impending doom
Occasional diarrhea

Some Statistics
Approximately 800,000 patients have heart attacks each year
In hospital mortality: 5-6%
One year mortality: 7-18%
23% of heart attack patients have diabetes
Patient delay is longer in: women, blacks, elderly, Medicaid only recipients

Reasons for delay of treatment for heart attacks
1.Inappropriate reasoning
2.Attribution of symptoms to other pre existing condition
3.Fear of embarrassment if it turns out to be ‘false alarm’
4.Pre conceived stereotypes
5.Especially common trait among women
6.Lack of knowledge of importance of rapid action
7.Attempted self treatment
8.Average patient doesn’t seek medical care for 1.5-2 hours

Mode of transport to hospital:
Greater than 98% of U.S. population covered by 911 service
In 2011, study EMS transport was used for only 60% of patients with heart attacks
Patients with possible heart attacks should be transported to the hospital by ambulance rather than friends or relatives.

Risk factors for heart attacks and coronary artery disease:
Other than advanced age, smoking is the single most important risk factor for coronary artery disease
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Elevated cholesterol level
Diabetes mellitus
Lack of exercise, obesity
Mental stress and depression

Women may experience milder symptoms or more non specific symptoms.
Shortness of breath
Nausea and vomiting

Arm and shoulder pain in absence of chest pain is more frequent among women than men
It’s the leading cause of death among women, accounting for nearly 500,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.
They are responsible for one in three deaths in women.

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