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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Sensational Seniors

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the number one killer of American males and females. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately every 33 seconds an American will suffer some type of coronary event and almost every minute, someone will die from it.

Heredity, although not a controllable risk factor, does play a role in heart disease risk. In fact, children of parents who have heart disease are more likely to develop heart disease later in life. Because individuals with a family history of heart disease are at a greater risk, it is important to focus on controllable risk factors such as not smoking, keeping cholesterol and blood pressure within a normal range, becoming physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Note: -- Not all these warning signs occur in every heart attack. If some start to occur, do not wait. Get help immediately! Heart attack is a medical emergency -- call 911!

The most common signs of an impending heart attack are:

The human heart

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck or to the arms.
  • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late

Studies have shown that signs of heart disease begin developing in childhood.

It is a well-established fact that high blood cholesterol levels play a role in the development of coronary heart disease in adults. Because studies have shown that signs of atherosclerosis begins in childhood, lowering levels of elevated blood cholesterol in children and adolescents is beneficial.

Emergencies Cannot Wait

When an emergency strikes, will you immediately call for help? While the answer would seem obvious, most people fail to act quickly, and even when they decide to act, they fail to call for help. When emergency situations occur, we must throw out our normal habits of caution and restraint and immediately seek the help of professionals.

Doctors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that nearly half of almost 800,000 heart attack patients they studied drove themselves or were driven by a friend ore family member to the hospital instead of calling 911 for an ambulance. This occurred even though emergency medical personnel can cut in half the time it takes to receive potentially lifesaving treatments such as clot-buster drugs.

An encouraging note:

Damage to the heart after a heart attack may not be permanent after all! New York Medical College researchers have discovered that muscle cells in the heart appear to be capable of regeneration.

They are currently working on treatments to accelerate that natural healing process.

Help Your Heart with Berries

Eating berries daily can benefit your heart in three ways. Finnish reesearchers added berries twice a day to the diets of 72 middle aged men and women with cardiovascular risk factors. After eight weeks, tests showed lower blood pressure, higher high-density lipoprotiens (HDL's, the good cholesterol) and less platelet aggregation, potentially preventing blood clots. Berries are rich in naturally occuring polyphenols, which the researchers credit for the beneficial effects.

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L-Carnitin Capsules# for Cardiovascular and peripheral-arterial disease
Several studies have examined supplemental carnitine in the management of cardiac ischemia (restriction of blood flow to the heart) and peripheral arterial disease (of which the most important symptom is poor circulation in the legs, known as intermittent claudication). Because levels of carnitine are low in the failing heart muscle, supplemental amounts might be beneficial to the organ by counteracting the toxic effects of free fatty acids and improving carbohydrate metabolism.

In short-term studies, carnitine has demonstrated anti-ischemic properties when given orally and by injection. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial in Italy with patients who had suffered a first heart attack found that supplemental carnitine (given intravenously for five days, then 6 grams/day orally for one year) reduced heart failure and overall mortality. The results were not conclusive but promising enough to justify a larger study whose results have not yet been reported.

Multi-Use Aspirin

The most common headache relief provider until it was displaced by ibuprofen and acetaminophen; aspirin reduces our susceptibility to blood clots and has been linked to a reduced risk for heart disease.

Elderly people who took aspirin daily for more than two years showed a 55 percent lower rate of dementia in a National Institute on Aging study. The Mayo Clinic reported that taking aspirin every day reduced the rate of heart attacks by 44 percent and of certain kinds of cancer by 50 percent. Just one Low Dose Aspirin a day can make all the difference in protecting your heart.

*Resource: American Heart Association

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