Stress can also make you more likely to get heart disease because it can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can lead to smoking, drinking alcohol, and overeating. Finally, the use of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can also increase the risk of a heart attack by constricting the blood vessels and increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually due to plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. Several risk factors can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and increase the risk of a heart attack. If you know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and get medical help immediately, you can reduce damage to the heart muscle and improve your chances of survival.
How many people die from heart attacks every year?
Heart attacks are a major cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 17.9 million people die from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) yearly, including heart attacks. This accounts for approximately 32% of all deaths worldwide.
In the United States alone, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and it is estimated that someone has a heart attack around every 34 seconds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that, as of 2020, about 697,000 Americans die yearly from heart disease, around one of every five deaths.
While heart attacks can be fatal, early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications. Recognizing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness or fainting, and seeking immediate medical attention can make a significant difference in survival rates and outcomes.
Prevention is also key to reducing the number of deaths from heart attacks. By making lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and managing chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, individuals can significantly lower their risk of experiencing a heart attack and improve their overall heart health.
What are the main warning signs of a heart attack?
The symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person, and some people may not have any symptoms at all. But the most common signs of a heart attack are pain or discomfort in the chest, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach, shortness of breath, sweating, feeling nauseous or throwing up, feeling dizzy, and passing out. It is also important to note that these warning signs may be slightly different for men and women. Women may experience symptoms that are less often associated with heart attacks, such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.