Cardiovascular Illnesses: Heart Attack

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency where the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, usually caused by a blood clot. A lack of blood to the heart may seriously damage the heart muscle and can be life threatening, therefore it is important to try your best to prevent anything like this from happening. The symptoms of a heart attack can be: chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling lightheaded and/ or a overwhelming feeling of anxiety. If you do suspect a heart attack, then it is essential that you call 999 for an ambulance.

Ways to help prevent a heart attack

Making lifestyle changes is the best way to help prevent a heart attack from happening. There are three mains steps you can take to do this: do not smoke, eat a healthy diet and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Eating an unhealthy diet that is high in saturated fat can increase the risk of a heart attack as the fat will build up and potentially block your arteries. This is because fatty foods contain an unhealth type of cholesterol. The NHS Health Check is a great thing to have as it tests your blood pressure, cholesterol and possibly for diabetes if the factors are shown, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle so that you can prevent cardiovascular diseases from happening just through your own lifestyle.

Smoking is a major risk factor that increase your risk of having a heart attack as it can raise your blood pressure and cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Smoking is very bad for your general health as it can cause more than 50 serious health conditions, some which can be fatal including a heart attack. The NHS Smokefree helpline is still open on 0300 123 1044, this can be for if you need support and advice on how to stop, the members of staff will be supportive and encouraging for whatever you need.

High blood pressure can put an increased strain on your arteries and heart. It can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, moderating your alcohol intake and exercising regularly. Regular exercise will lower your blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in a good condition it can also help you to lose weight which can also help you to reduce your blood pressure. All these factors tie in with each other so by following the steps you can therefore decrease your chance of having a heart attack.