What are the complications of a heart attack?
Complications can be related to the heart damage that has occurred. These complications can lead to some of the following complications:
- Arrhythmias, known as abnormal heart rhythms, which are basically electrical short circuits which can stop the heart beating altogether, which often results in a fatal heart attack.
- A heart rupture is due to the damaged heart muscle area, leaving a hole in the heart that is often fatal.
- Heart failure can occur after the heart tissue has suffered from extensive damage affecting the heart’s ability to pump properly. Heart failure can be a temporary condition or develop into a chronic condition, depending on the damage done.
- Heart valves that have been damaged may cause severe leakage issues.
What are the risk factors for a heart attack?
There are certain risk factors that can add to the unhealthy build-up of fatty deposits causing your arteries to narrow, there are also precautions and lifestyle changes that can be taken, however, it is important to note what the risk factors are in order to address them accordingly. These are listed below:
- Men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55 are more likely to have a heart attack.
- Smoking tobacco products and even second-hand smoke over a long period of time can increase the risk of heart attack.
- High blood pressure is known to damage the arteries over time, it can occur with obesity, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol.
- High levels of the bad type of cholesterol, being low-density lipoprotein (LDL), is known to narrow your arteries, increasing heart attack risks.
- Being diabetic - not producing enough insulin or being less respondent to it, can cause the blood sugar levels of the body to rise, this leads to damage of the nerves and blood vessels.
- Genetics play a role. If you have a direct family member who has suffered from an early heart attack, you may be at risk.
- Obesity, which may lead to high blood cholesterol levels, diabetes and high blood pressure increases your overall risk.
- Illegal drug usage such as amphetamines or cocaine is known to trigger spasms of your coronary arteries which causes a heart attack.
- Having an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus increases your risk.
How do you lower the risk of having a heart attack?
Taking medications that have been prescribed after a heart attack can help a heart that has been damaged to function better. Speak to your doctor about monitoring your progress to ensure a swift and healthy recovery.
Making changes to your lifestyle are a great step to take in preventing the occurrence or reoccurrence of a heart attack. Here are ways you can change your lifestyle:
- Stop smoking and avoid being around people who smoke.
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control – speak to your doctor about possible medications and medical monitoring for this.
- Go for regular check-ups at a medical professional in order to pick up any conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
- Take up or maintain a routine of regular physical activity. Just walking for 30 minutes a day, five days of the week, can help to improve your health.
- Speak to your doctor or a dietician about sticking to a heart-healthy diet. This includes staying away from saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol and sticking to lean proteins and lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Try to control your stress levels, speak to your doctor or psychologist about managing your stress.