A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few, if any, symptoms. You may have never had any symptoms to warn you that you’ve developed a heart problem, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Some people later recall their silent heart attack was mistaken for indigestion, nausea, muscle pain or a bad case of the flu.
The risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as those for a heart attack with symptoms. The risk factors include: -Smoking or chewing tobacco
-Family history of heart disease
-High blood pressure
-Lack of exercise
Having a silent heart attack puts you at a greater risk of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increases your risk of complications, such as heart failure. The only way to tell if you’ve had a silent heart attack is to have imaging tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or others. These tests can reveal changes that signal you’ve had a heart attack. If you wonder if you’ve had a silent heart attack, talk to your doctor. A review of your symptoms, health history and a physical exam can help your doctor decide if more tests are necessary.
A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few, if any, symptoms. You may have never had any symptoms to warn you that you’ve developed a heart problem, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Some people later recall their silent heart attack was mistaken for indigestion, nausea, muscle pain, or a bad case of the flu.
The risk factors for having a silent heart attack are the same as having a heart attack with symptoms. The risk factors include: Smoking or chewing tobacco
Family history of heart disease
Lack of exercise
Being overweight Having a silent heart attack puts you at a greater risk of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increases your risk of complications, such as heart failure.
If you wonder if you’ve had a silent heart attack, talk to your doctor. A review of your symptoms, health history and a physical exam can help your doctor decide if more tests are necessary. The only way to tell if you’ve had a silent heart attack is to have additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or other imaging tests. These tests can reveal changes that signal you’ve had a heart attack.
Doctors have long assumed that saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat are what raise the risk of heart disease. But a study in the journal Nature Medicine fingers another culprit: carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat that also is sold as a dietary supplement and found in some energy drinks. Carnitine typically helps the body transport fatty acids into cells to be used as energy. But researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that in both humans and mice, certain bacteria in the digestive tract convert carnitine to another metabolite, called TMAO, that promotes atherosclerosis, or a thickening of the arteries.
The researchers, led by Stanley Hazen, chief of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, tested the carnitine and TMAO levels of omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, and examined records of 2,595 patients undergoing cardiac evaluations. In patients with high TMAO levels, the more carnitine in their blood, the more likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke and death. Many studies have linked consumption of red and processed meat to cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The Harvard School of Public Health reported last year that among 83,000 nurses and 37,000 male health professionals followed since the 1980s, those who consumed the highest levels of red meat had the highest risk of death during the study, and that one additional serving a day of red meat raised the risk of death by 13 percent. The new findings don’t mean that red meat is more hazardous than previously thought. But they may help explain the underlying risk of eating red meat, which some researchers have long thought was higher than the saturated fat and cholesterol content alone could explain.
High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. -You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
High blood pressure generally develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your doctor to control it.
The excessive pressure on your artery walls caused by high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, as well as organs in your body. The higher your blood pressure and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to: -Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications. -Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening. -Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs, which can lead to heart failure. -Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally. -Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss. -Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a cluster of disorders of your body’s metabolism, including increased waist circumference; high triglycerides; low high-density lipoprotein (HDL); or “good,” cholesterol; high blood pressure; and high insulin levels. -If you have high blood pressure, you’re more likely to have other components of metabolic syndrome. The more components you have, the greater your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. -Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.
The term morbid obesity refers to patients who are 50 – 100% — or 100 pounds above — their ideal body weight. Alternatively, a BMI (body mass index) value greater than 39 may be used to diagnose morbid obesity.
Medical problems commonly resulting from untreated morbid obesity include the following: -Diabetes
-Certain cancers, including breast and colon -Depression
Affected people may gradually develop hypoxemia (decreased blood oxygen saturation) and have problems with sleep apnea (periodic cessation of breathing while asleep).
Decreased blood oxygen and problems associated with sleep apnea may result in feeling drowsy through the day (somnolence), high blood pressure, and pulmonary hypertension. In extreme cases, especially when medical treatment is not sought, this can lead to right-sided heart failure (cor pulmonale), and ultimately death.
When you have a heart attack, you know it because the main symptom—crushing chest pain—is overwhelmingly obvious. That’s what most of us believe about heart attacks. But it’s not always true. What few people realize: Studies show that 20% to 60% of all heart attacks in people over age 45 are unrecognized or “silent.” And the older you are, the more likely it is that you’ve already had a silent heart attack. In a study of 110 people with a mean age of 82, an astounding 68% had suffered a silent heart attack. What happens during a silent heart attack? You may have no symptoms at all. Or you may have symptoms that are so mild—for example, a bout of breathlessness, digestive upset or neurological symptoms such as fainting—that neither you nor your doctor connects them with a heart attack. Scientists don’t know why some people have unrecognized heart attacks. But they do know that a silent heart attack is a real heart attack and can cause as much damage to heart muscle as a non-silent heart attack. And just like a person with a known heart attack, anyone who has had a silent heart attack is at higher risk for another heart attack, heart failure, stroke… or sudden death from an irregular heartbeat. Recent scientific evidence: In a six-year study by cardiologists from the University of California in San Diego and San Francisco—published in Clinical Research in Cardiology in April 2011—people who were diagnosed with a silent heart attack at the beginning of the study were 80% more likely to have another “cardiovascular event,” such as a heart attack or stroke, by the end of the study period. In a five-year study by cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic, people with an unrecognized heart attack were seven times more likely to die of heart disease than people who didn’t have an unrecognized heart attack.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), formerly called impotence, can affect men of all ages, although it is much more common among older men. It is normal for men to occasionally experience erectile dysfunction. However, if the problem becomes chronic, it can have adverse effects on relationships, emotional health, and self-esteem. Erectile dysfunction may also be a symptom of an underlying health condition. If erectile dysfunction becomes an on-going problem, it is important to talk to your doctor. PDE5 inhibitors are generally the first choice of treatment for erectile dysfunction. There are three brands that are approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: -Sildenafil (Viagra)
These drugs are generally safe and effective for most men. These medications may not be appropriate for men with certain health conditions, such as severe heart disease, heart failure, history of stroke, or uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes. Men who take nitrate drugs cannot use PDE5 inhibitors, and these drugs can also interact with other medications. Talk to your doctor about whether PDE5 inhibitor drugs are a safe choice for you.
Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products, which can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.
Major sources of saturated fat include: Red meat
Coconut and palm oils
Sources of trans fat include: Deep-fried fast foods
Packaged snack foods
Heart-healthy eating isn’t all about cutting back, though. Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease, but also may help prevent cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Some fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil, and they can also be found in supplements. Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart.
An analysis of data from an international multicenter study of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) reveals that men and women with mild coronary artery disease and similar cardiovascular risk profiles share similar prognoses. Results of the study were presented this month at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
“We conducted this study because we wanted to understand whether men and women with the same extent of coronary artery disease and similar risk profiles have similar or dissimilar prognoses,” said Jonathon Leipsic, M.D., FRCPC, director of medical imaging at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. “There is a tendency to think women’s heart disease is very different than men’s heart disease. Our data show that once plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries, the prognosis is very similar between men and women.”
Coronary artery disease occurs when the coronary arteries—the major blood vessels that supply the oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle—begin to accumulate a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque. Over time, plaque may damage or narrow the arteries. CCTA is a noninvasive imaging test that uses computed tomography (CT) to image the amount of plaque present in the coronary arteries.
Drinking more than the daily unit guidelines regularly and over a long period of time can increase your risk of developing heart disease. This is because, drinking at this level can: -Increase the risk of high blood pressure. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol causes raised blood pressure which is one of the most important risk factors for having a heart attack or a stroke. Alcohol is thought to do this through its effects on the kidneys and the blood vessels. Increases in your blood pressure can also be caused by weight gain from excessive drinking. -Weaken the heart muscle. This means the heart can’t pump blood as efficiently. It’s known as cardiomyopathy and can cause premature death, usually through heart failure. -Lead to an enlarged heart. This is a sign that the heart is unable to effectively pump blood around the body, and is known as heart failure. Video: Coronary Artery Disease