Heart Attack : Doctor tells how to prevent

Dr Sangita Choudhury


Heart-Attack-preventionHeart attack - the name itself is frightening. Not every fear in life can be controlled but yes we can do things to prevent a heart attack. In the world almost one out of every four deaths are due to heart diseases. We should also be able to identify when someone is suffering from a heart attack so that immediate medical attention can be sought for.


What actually a heart attack is? In medical term we know it as myocardial infarction. It happens when blood supply to the heart muscle is hampered leading to reduction or failure of pumping activity of heart. The causes of reduced blood supply can be many but most important is blockage of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle by atheromatous plaque. These plaques consist mainly of cholesterol, various cellular components, calcium etc.


There are many risk factors for heart attack among which high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose, high blood cholesterol, obesity, advancing age, family history of heart attack and improper lifestyle habits like smoking, physical inactivity are very important. Some of the risk factors are non-modifiable means we cannot control them but some are modifiable or we can say controllable.


So in short, to a great extent the health of our heart depends on us. We can prevent many instances of heart attack if we take good care of our heart by having a healthy lifestyle and by modifying several risk factors.


Eating a balanced healthy diet, regular recommended physical exercise, avoidance of smoking, limiting alcohol intake, having adequate sleep, reduction of stress or anxiety, regular follow up with doctor for controlling blood pressure or blood sugar or for health checkup – these are few steps we can take to keep our heart healthy.


Dr-Sangita-Choudhury But we also must know if someone is having a heart attack what are the symptoms and what should be the immediate response. The main symptom is chest pain usually in the Centre of the chest and the pain can also be felt in the upper back, jaw, left arm, which feels like squeezing or constricting type or like as if some very heavy object has been placed over the chest.


Other associated symptoms can be difficulty in breathing, light headedness, extreme tiredness,palpitation, sweating, vomiting, anxiety etc. So chest pain is something which should never be neglected because many a time there may be some serious underlying issue.


If we are suspecting a heart attack the immediate response should be calling for medical help. It really matters how fast the treatment begins because the faster the treatment starts the better will be the recovery. In hospital the exact diagnosis can be made fast and the best available treatment can be provided.The consequences of heart attack varyranging from complete recovery to death. The correct treatment in time can really do wonders.


So lastly, it is again very important that after surviving a heart attack we continue taking the prescribed medicines as advised and do regular follow up with the doctor and keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle so to prevent future heart problems. It is undoubtedly a deadly disease but we can do lot to prevent and survive the disease.


#Dr Sangita Choudhury 
MBBS, MD (medicine)
Assistant professor
TMC & Dr BRAM Teaching Hospital

Dr Choudhury may be reached through [email protected]