Cardiovascular disease is one of the major killers of people living in many countries including the Middle East. People of any age can have a heart attack , otherwise known as cardiac thrombosis or arrest, and occurs when blood vessels carrying blood to the heart become blocked, preventing blood from reaching a section of the heart muscle and causing the blocked section to die. Although people of virtually any age are susceptible to heart attacks, the most likely age group are people over age 40; especially those whose diet consists of large amounts of saturated fats (usually known as SATs) causing their blood cholesterol level to rise to abnormal percentages.
People who eat large amounts of animal fats from meats and dairy products, as well as those who smoke cigarettes frequently, are very likely to suffer from some form of Cardiovascular disease, including severe heart attacks, sometime in their lives.
Symptoms of the beginning of a heart attack include:
• Chest discomfort or pain—uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest that can be mild or strong. This discomfort or pain lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
• Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
• Shortness of breath may occur with or before chest discomfort.
• Other signs include nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, lightheadedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
If not treated in time, more severe symptoms including acute heart failure, when the weakened heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body, ventricular fibrillation, in which the heart muscle goes into a spasm and simply fibrillates or twitches, and coronary embolism in which a heart blood vessel literally explodes from the blockage pressure, causing instantaneous death.
In both Israel and Jordan more than 40% of all annual deaths from “natural causes” come from coronary related diseases. In North America, the rate is even higher, especially due to people eating excessive amounts of fast or “junk” foods. Although diet is a key factor in regards to risks in having heart disease, other factors, including smoking, estrogen birth control medications (especially in women who both smoke and take birth control medications), and stress (in particular those suffering from PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder).
In the event of a heart attack, the first 5 to 10 minutes are crucial to prevent the heart muscle from suffering irreparable damage, and proximity to a hospital emergency room, can mean a mater of life or death. Persons suffering from coronary artery disease should have all needed emergency telephone numbers easily available to immediate reference, especially those of emergency ambulance and treatment centers. Emergency treatment and ambulance services often furnish electronic devices to heart patients that can relay an EKG reading back to the center in order to determine if the personal calling for help is actually having a heart attack.
It is well known that more people can survive a serious heart attack if they get help soon enough. Those who die from heart attacks generally do so by not getting help soon enough; usually with in the first half hour following the onset of symptoms.
Remember, in regards to a heart attack, time is of the essence.