Heart attacks cause the death of millions of people per year. In this paper I will talk about the scientific names for heart attacks, the main causes of heart attacks, the symptoms of them, the treatments for them, and the last thing we will talk about is who is at risk for having a heart attack. But, before we can talk about these things we really should determine what heart attack really means. “Heart Attack (noun): an acute episode of heart disease (as a myocardial infarction) due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle, especially when caused by a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion (American Heritage, 95).
” The big scientific names for heart attacks are myocardial infarction or in some cases acute myocardial infarction, and sometimes it is also called a coronary occlusion. A heart attack is a short lived form of heart disease. It is a coronary artery disease because it normally occurs in the coronary artery. The cause of a heart attack is not very complicated. Simply stated in scientific terms as myocardial infarction it basically means that the coronary artery becomes so clogged that the myocardium or heart muscle does not receive any oxygen.
The first recorded case of a heart attack was on December, 1928. It was spotted by a Chicago physician by the name of James B. Herrick. He said that what appeared to be something else was actually a blood clot (thrombosis) which generally destroys the heart muscle therefore causing a myocardial infarction. Next I will talk about the symptoms of heart attacks. “As plaques begin to clog the coronary arteries, several things may occur. In some cases, no symptoms are noted until a fatal heart attack or sudden death occur as the first, (and last) event.
In others, no symptoms are noted at rest, but with exercise or other stress, a dull aching pain is noted in the chest, neck, jaw, upper abdomen, arm, or back. Typically, this subsides with rest (HealthFocus, 95). ” The symptoms of a heart attack can sneak up upon a person like it did for Sergei Grinkov at twenty-eight years old or be a very long and draining ordeal. But in the end the result is the same, the person will have a heart attack. Thirdly I will talk about some of the treatments available for a heart attack. One treatment is described in the following quote.
“Coronary bypass surgery has become commonplace. The procedure consists of transplanting veins from the leg (or vessels from elsewhere in the chest) to the blocked area, bypassing or “jumping over” the obstructions. As many as four or five vessels may be bypassed, thus restoring flow to the area previously blocked off. During the operation, the heart is temporarily replaced by the “heart-lung” machine. Mortality in better centers is less than one percent (Coronary Artery… , 93). ” Another kind of therapy is medical therapy, as described in the following quote.
“The newest group of drugs for coronary disease is called the calcium channel blockers. Calcium channels refer to the areas of the membranes of heart and other cells where calcium flows in and out, reacting with other chemicals to modulate the force and rate of contractions. In the heart, they can reduce the force and rate of contractions and electrical excitability, thereby having a calming effect on the heart. Although their final place in heart disease remains to be seen, they promise to play an increasingly important role. (Coronary Artery…, 93). “
The final thing I will discuss in this paper is who is at risk for a heart attack and how can one reduce their risk. The one thing that I believe through my research is that many people who have heart attacks did not know that they were at a high risk for them. Another thing is that people who are at high risk for a heart attack do not know it. This shows that people must be better educated about the risk of a heart attack. This subject affects me personally because I lost a Grandmother to a heart attack along with a few other relatives.
The following phrases are all quoted out of HealthFocus from America on-line. Heart attack is the single largest killer of both men and women in the United States. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability for both men and women in the United States. Estimates are that 1 out of 5 men and 1 out of 17 women will have symptoms of heart disease before the age of 60. This means that in this age group, men have three times the risk of developing heart disease as women. However, in women as in men, cholesterol levels are predictive of coronary heart disease.
Coronary artery disease is much more common in older individuals, in males, and in people with a family history of heart disease. After age 60, the risk for women begins to approach the risk for men. High blood pressure, a major controllable risk factor for heart disease, is more common in blacks than whites, and may be a genetic-based risk factor. Blood pressure categories used in the study are as follows: 1. Normal blood pressure is defined as 2. Borderline ISH is 140-159 mm Hg/ 3. Definite ISH is >160 mm Hg/ 4. Definite hypertension is defined as >160 mm Hg/>90 mm Hg or being treated for hypertension.
Even a moderately elevated systolic blood pressure increases a person’s chance of developing or dying from a cardiovascular disease, according to a study from the national heart, lung, and blood institute. The study also found that slightly elevated systolic blood pressure markedly increases a person’s risk for developing high blood pressure, even within two years. Hypertension is a major contributing factor in cardiovascular death and illness. Those quotes talked briefly about the risks while the following, taken from the same source, will talk about things one can do to lessen the effects of the above.
People who drink alcohol moderately reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by about 40 percent. The good news about HBP is that it can be controlled by medications and often by changes in daily habits. The type and severity of an individual’s high blood pressure, as well as his or her other medical problems, will determine which treatment is best for that person. Stress is a controllable risk factor in the development of heart disease. Learning to relax and to effectively manage stress may decrease the likelihood of developing heart disease. Consider the following:
— Episodes of slow, shallow (inhibitory) breathing in response to stressful events result in increased blood pressure in humans, according to researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore. — ‘Type A’ behavior — aggressiveness, a need to compete, and constant concern about time — has been linked to the development of heart disease in men, according to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. – Stress has been reported to raise blood cholesterol levels, although there may be other explanations for this effect, according to the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.
For example, during periods of stress, individuals may eat more foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may increase their blood cholesterol levels, rather than the stress itself. While the idea of getting a heart attack is very grim, the idea that one can also take steps to lessen the chance is very rewarding. One final optimistic fact I would like to leave with people is that since the late 60’s mortality from heart attacks has been declining. In the back of this paper is a short quiz to test people’s knowledge on heart problems. It is followed by the answers.