Heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide for both men and women. Myocardial infarctions, also known as heart attacks, can happen to anyone with heart disease.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is a serious medical emergency. It occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, usually by a buildup of fat and cholesterol in the arteries. This can prevent the heart from getting the oxygen it needs, and if left untreated, a heart attack can be fatal. However, the chances of surviving a heart attack are much higher if you act quickly.
When symptoms occur, it is important to call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Getting to the hospital within minutes can make a big difference in your outcome. So if you think you or someone else might be having a heart attack, don’t delay, call for help right away.
Who is at risk of a heart attack?
There are certain factors that put you at risk for heart attack, including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Obesity or being overweight
- A family history
- A poor diet
- Not exercising
- Drinking alcohol regularly
Although heart attacks can happen very quickly, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. If you experience any of these warning signs, don’t wait to seek help or visit an urgent care clinic. It is very important to pay attention to your body and to call 911 as soon as possible if you feel any of the following:
- Pain or discomfort in your chest or shoulder
- Lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting
- Jaw, neck or back pain
- Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats
Learn these warning signs of a heart attack. In case you aren’t sure that your symptoms are related to a heart attack, you can go to an urgent care clinic. Minutes matter. Taking action quickly can save lives – maybe even your own. If you think you or someone else might be having a heart attack, call 911 or your emergency response number right away.