Heart Attack: Risk Factors and Treatment

Heart Attack: Risk Factors and Treatment

Mostly heart attacks occur in old people. Some symptoms include pain in chest, irregular heartbeats, sweating, etc. Immediate treatment can cure heart attacks. Read on to find out its risk factors and treatment…

Heart attack is a condition characterised by permanent damage to the heart muscle. It is also called as myocardial infarction.

The heart muscle needs constant supply of oxygen-rich blood which is supplied by coronary arteries. When this supply gets blocked due to fatty material, calcium deposits etc., the heart falls short of oxygen. When this happens, the heart muscle gets damaged. This is called as heart attack.

What increases the risk?

Some factors can lead to the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
The factors are as follows:

  • Age: Men who crossed 45 and women who crossed 55 are more likely to have a heart attack when compared to people younger than them
  • Tobacco: Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure that occurs due to diabetes, obesity, smoking, high cholesterol
  • Certain medical conditions: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Family history: Siblings, parents or grandparents who have had heart attack
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity, obesity, stress, etc.
  • Drugs: Cocaine or amphetamines

How is it treated?

A doctor uses drugs and surgical procedures to treat heart attacks.


Medicines are used to dissolve blood clots, prevent platelets surrounding the plaque, fix the plaques, etc. These medicines should be given within an hour or two of the occurrence of heart attack to prevent further damage.

Medicines are as follows:

  • Aspirin, Brillinta, Effient, Herparin or Plavix to limit further blood clotting
  • Thrombolytics to dissolve the blood clots
  • Morphine to relieve pain
  • Nitroglycerin to cure chest pain and improve blood flow to the heart
  • Beta blockers to prevent damage to the heart muscle
  • ACE inhibitors to decrease stress on heart

Surgical procedures

The doctor can follow any of the surgical procedure:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting: Once the doctor has located blockages in heart, he/she will insert a long, thin tube in the artery present in leg or groin. This tube will be passed till it reaches the blocked artery in the heart.

A special balloon will be attached to the tube which will be inflated once it reaches the blocked artery. A metal mesh stent covered with slow-releasing medication can be inserted to keep the artery open for long time.

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery: The doctor will recommend a coronary artery bypass surgery which should be performed immediately or 3 to 7 days after heart attack. It involves sewing of veins or arteries which are blocked and taking blood vessels either from chest, arms or legs, which will be placed around the areas of narrowing to bypass the blockages and restore blood flow to the heart.

Heart attacks are a major problem. For more information, consult a cardiologist online at eVaidya now!



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