According to the American Heart Association, the risk of having a heart attack is higher during the holidays when diet changes, travel, alcohol consumption and social stress can negatively impact a person's heart health. Amit Dande, MD, a cardiologist with Prairie Cardiovascular in Decatur, cautions patients to be aware of early symptoms of a heart attack. "A heart attack may cause various types of discomfort that are not generally perceived as 'pain' and are not necessarily in the chest," he says.
The discomfort may:
Feel like indigestion, squeezing, tightness or heaviness
Not be in a specific spot
Be felt in the chest, the inner arm (especially the left arm), the jaw or teeth, back, or other parts of the body
Get worse with activity and subside with rest
Come and go, and increase over time—each new pain recurs sooner, lasts longer and feels worse
Be accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue or flu-like symptoms
Q: What should I do if I or someone I care about is having some of these symptoms?
A: Dial, don't drive. Call 911 immediately. Don't waste valuable time or put yourself and others at risk by driving to the hospital. Emergency responders can respond sooner and begin treatment on-site.
Q: Who should be concerned about heart attacks and early heart attack symptoms?
A: There is no typical heart attack victim. Women experience nearly the same number of heart attacks as men. People of any age can have a heart attack. Sadly, some people have no idea they are at risk for a heart attack until it strikes. Some people have risk factors that make them more likely candidates for heart attack.
Risk factors include:
Lack of exercise
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Same day/next day appointments available. Call 888-477-2474.
Categories: Heart health
Your heart is in good hands
Dr. Dande specializes in cardiology and interventional cardiology. To learn more, visit prairieheart.org or call 888-576-7213 to schedule an appointment—no referral needed.