Preventive Action For Heart Attack

Heart Attack – Symptoms

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • chest pain – a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
  • Pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back and abdomen
  • an overwhelming sense of anxiety (similar to having a panic attack)
  • coughing or wheezing

Although the chest pain is often severe, some people may only experience minor pain, similar to indigestion. In some cases, there may not be any chest pain at all, especially in women, the elderly and people with diabetes.

It’s the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.

Reason for Heart Attack

A heart attack is usually caused by the buildup of plaque in your coronary arteries. The plaque builds up over time to eventually slow or completely block blood flow to the heart muscle. Plaque is made up of fatty substances, like cholesterol, in your blood. The plaque builds up slowly over time. Eventually plaque can harden and narrow the coronary arteries. Plaque can also slow or completely block blood flow to the heart muscle. When plaque blocks the blood supply to your heart, your heart cannot get the oxygen it needs.

Atherosclerosis is the general medical term for plaque buildup that clogs arteries. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the medical term for atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. So atherosclerosis or CAD—whatever term you use—can cause heart attacks.

For many decades doctors thought that heart attacks—and CAD in general—affected mostly men. Doctors are now realizing that heart disease is just as common in women. As a result, more clinical studies are being done to learn about how heat attacks differ in men and women .

Who is at very risk condition?

Risk factors of heart attacks you cannot change

  • Age—the risk increases as you age
  • Gender
  • Heredity—the risk increases if there is a family history of heart or blood vessel disease.

Risks Factors of heart attacks that you can change

  • Eating high-fat foods
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Excess weight

Other health conditions that can increase your risk

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Preventive action for Heart Attacks


Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular disease in women, with more than 50 percent of heart attacks among middle-aged women attributable to tobacco. Risk of cardiovascular disease begins to decline within months of smoking cessation and reaches the level of persons who have never smoked within 3 to 5 years.

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High blood cholesterol is a condition that greatly increases your chances of developing coronary heart disease. Extra cholesterol in the blood settles on the inner walls of the arteries, narrowing them and allowing less blood to pass through them to the heart. Aim for total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL; LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dL and HDL above 35 mg/dL.


Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are epidemics in the United States that contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of obesity has increased among both men and women in the United States in the past decade; currently about one third of adult women (or 34 million) are classified as obese. Also, 60 percent of both men and women get no regular physical activity. Obesity, especially abdominal adiposity, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women.


Recent evidence suggests that even moderate-intensity activity, including brisk walking, is associated with substantial reduction of cardiovascular disease risk. These findings support the 1995 federal exercise guidelines endorsing 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week, a program that should be feasible and safe for most of the population. Regular exercise and maintenance of healthy weight should also help reduce insulin resistance and the risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, which appears to be an even stronger risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women than in men. Diabetes is associated with a threefold to sevenfold elevation in cardiovascular disease risk among women, compared with a twofold to threefold elevation among men. Approximately half of all deaths in patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus are due to heart disease.


Diets low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, a recent study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal confirmed that eating fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, seems to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease. You may even think about moving toward more flexitarian or vegetarian eating habits: A vegetarian diet reduces the risk of coronary artery disease, and may even reverse existing coronary artery disease when combined with other lifestyle changes. A Mediterranean diet that uses olive oil can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.


Trans fatty acids have been linked to adverse lipid profiles and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This includes most margarines. The role of other fatty acids, including monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and marine omega-3 fatty acids, remains controversial.


Moderate intake of alcohol is related to reduction of cardiovascular disease — but may raise blood pressure and increase risk of breast cancer. Early surgical menopause is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which appears to be negated by the use of estrogen therapy.


Antioxidant vitamin supplements, particularly vitamin E and homocysteine-lowering agents such as folate and B6, have promising roles in prevention of cardiovascular disease, but conclusive evidence may hinge on the results of several ongoing randomized clinical trials. When it is found in unusually high levels, homocysteine brings the same degree of risk as having high cholesterol does. The B vitamins, especially folic acid and B12, will drive elevated homocysteine levels down to normal, often without the need of any prescription medication.


Poorly controlled stress may have an adverse effect on blood lipids. An attitude of hostility has been powerfully linked with a higher incidence of cardiac events, and cynical distrust has been associated with accelerated progression of carotid artery disease. Relaxation methods (meditation, breathing exercises), yoga, and stress management techniques are essential for preventing cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease and for reducing the risk of recurrent cardiac problems. Meditation improves exercise tolerance and decreases electrical charges associated with poor circulation to the heart. Meditation has also been shown to lower cholesterol and reverse carotid artery thickening. Also consider acupuncture, which has been shown to help relax the myocardium and improve circulation.

Ask your health professional about herbs and nutritional supplements that may be useful in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, including:

  • Bilberry
  • Turmeric (curcumin)
  • Fenugreek
  • Ginger
  • Guggul
  • Ginkgo
  • Garlic (one garlic clove is roughly equal to 4 mg to 1 gram of garlic; a daily dose of 600 to 800mg may be recommended)
  • Onion
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid (500 to 5000 micrograms daily may be recommended)
  • B6
  • L-Carnitine
  • Coenzyme Q10 (100 to 300 mg daily may be recommended)
  • Vitamin E (400 to 800 International Units daily may be recommended)
  • Magnesium (200 to 400 mg daily may be recommended)
  • Niacin (A typical oral dose of 100 mg, three times daily; may gradually increase to avg. dose of 1 gram three times daily, with a maximum dose of 6 grams. Extended release tablets: Dosing may begin with one 375-milligram tablet at bedtime and be increased by no more than 500 mg per four-week period, to a maximum of 2,000 mg, given as two 1,000-milligram tablets before bed)
  • Fish oils (6 grams daily may be recommended)
  • Soy (Isoflavones may be recommended)

Will Interstate Compacts turn into National Licensure?

Whether you’re in Maine or Hawaii, Florida or Alaska, all people deserve the same high-quality healthcare. So, shouldn’t the quality standards for the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals – who provide patient care – be the same no matter where you live?

A movement is slowly progressing for healthcare professionals to be licensed in multiple states through a single, simplified process. Nursing is way ahead of other professions in interstate licensure. If you qualify for the Nurse Licensure Compact, you can practice in all 31 compact states. It’s the only true multistate license.

The physician compact includes 24 states so far. However, under the medical licensure compact, applicants must apply separately for multistate privileges and pay for individual licenses in each state.

For physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, if you meet all the requirements in a compact state, you can purchase compact privileges in other compact states. So far, only six states accept compact privileges, but more than a dozen other states have enacted.

A model for an interstate Advanced Practice Nurse Compact recently began and will be implemented when ten states have enacted legislation. For all other healthcare professions, licensure is strictly state by state.

While progressing slowly, the interstate compacts could eventually lead to nationwide licensure instead of state-by-state. While the path to that goal will still take years, there is growing recognition that national licensure would be a big improvement for patients, patient care facilities and healthcare professionals themselves.

There’s no evidence that healthcare professionals in one state are better or worse than in other states. Yet, in most parts of the country, healthcare professionals who can commute to several states in an hour or two must have separate licenses to work in each state. For example, if you live anywhere in the New York metropolitan area, you must have separate licenses to practice in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, even though you could commute to those states to pick up shifts or take patients in an hour or two – or much less time.

The national licensure movement should gain steam as more states join interstate compacts. Greater flexibility for clinicians and providers, improved patient access to care, and reduction in costs and redundancy could be strong arguments in state legislatures considering licensure compact legislation. State lines would no longer block telemedicine. Underserved areas in rural and urban areas would be able to draw upon more healthcare professionals. As more and more states join in, national licensure could become inevitable.

National licensure is a popular concept. A 2017 survey of registered nurses by AMN Healthcare found that 68% supported national licensing instead of state-by-state, and among Millennial nurses, 77% supported it. Instead, resistance to this change is probably just the inertia of bureaucracy. Plus, passing state-by-state legislation on anything is a cumbersome process.

In the conversation about the evolution of healthcare in the United States, and particularly the movement to value-based care, interstate compacts — and eventually national licensure for all healthcare professionals — should be an important factor. It’s win-win for all involved – especially the patient.