The WHO estimates 17.9 million people die each year from Cardio Vascular Diseases associated with Heart Attacks an estimated 31% of all deaths worldwide. 4 out of 5 Cardiovascular deaths are due to heart attacks.
So how do you tell when you are having a heart attack?
“When someone undergoes a heart attack, some of the most common symptoms they experience include pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back” states Dr. Rajiv Lochan, Director of Cardiology and Heart Attack Center at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai.
These symptoms can further be accompanies by nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, fatigue, lightheadedness or sudden dizziness.
“Recently, with elevated levels of anxiety, we see many people coming in panic attacks that somewhat mimic heart attacks” says Dr. Behrad Elahi Specialist Interventional Cardiology at the Al Zahra Hospital Dubai Heart Attack Center.
“In some people, having a heart attack could trigger a sense of panic, while panic attacks are not a known trigger for heart attacks. However, both may have a stress connection and often have similar symptoms” he adds.
Research shows the right level of emergency cardiac care done in a timely manner over 90% of people survive their heart attacks and go back to living a fruitful life. Because it is sometimes hard to tell the difference before going to the doctor and carrying out the medical investigations, it is imperative that in the case where one suspects they are having a heart attack to directly visit an Emergency Room.
“The Al Zahra Heart Attack Center is one of the only JCI accredited Heart Attack Centers in the region. Not only do we use the latest technologies, we implement the latest practices employed world-wide by the best centers to ensure the best survival rates for heart attack patients”, Dr Rajiv Lochan.
Sometimes the symptoms of a heart attack can be so mild that they go unnoticed, that is why it is very important to catch coronary heart disease at an early stage and that is done through regular screenings. For people that have a family history of heart disease, it is important to start screening at an earlier age.
So, what can be done to prevent heart attacks?
“80% of untimely heart attacks can be avoided” stated Dr. Beharadi, Cunsltant Cardilogist at Al Zahra Cardiology Department and Heart Attack Center.
Healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not using tobacco products are some of the most important factors. Controlling comorbidities such as blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar or diabetes is also very important to avoid undergoing a heart attack.