India faces a substantial burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), accounting for 28.1% of all deaths in the country, according to the Indian Heart Association. Alarmingly, it is projected that India will bear the highest share of the world's CVD burden by 2030. Dr C M Nagesh, MBBS, MD, DM ( AIIMS), Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research Bangalore, shares the symptoms include severe chest discomfort that may radiate to the back, left arm, jaw, and neck, accompanied by profuse sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
Symptoms And Identification
Recognizing the symptoms of heart attack or heart-related issues is critical for timely intervention. It can also manifest as discomfort or pain in the arms, neck, jaw, or stomach. Shortness of breath, sudden fatigue, dizziness or fainting, persistent nausea or vomiting and cold sweats are all signs that should prompt immediate medical attention. Early intervention can be life-saving.
In some cases, heart attack symptoms may deviate from the usual pattern. Atypical symptoms can manifest as left arm pain, isolated jaw pain, throat discomfort, chest uneasiness, abdominal discomfort, occasional backaches, breathing difficulties, and extreme fatigue.
These unusual symptoms are common in diabetic patients, women, and the elderly. Recognizing these signs and seeking immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital is paramount, as early detection and diagnosis significantly impact survival rates. In the medical community, we stress the adage 'time is muscle,' emphasising the importance of every minute and every heart in these critical moments.
Primary angioplasty is also a treatment option, depending on the available medical facilities. Diagnosing heart-related issues typically involves a combination of tests and assessments, such as electrocardiograms (ECGs), echocardiograms, blood tests, stress tests, and coronary angiography. These evaluations aid medical professionals in identifying irregularities and determining the most suitable course of action.
Lifestyle changes are essential, encompassing the adoption of a heart-healthy diet, regular physical activity, and smoking cessation. Medications are commonly prescribed to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, with aspirin possibly recommended to reduce the risk of blood clots. Angioplasty is required to remove blockage in the coronary arteries. Cardiac rehabilitation, a structured program involving exercise, education and support, aids patients in recovery and reduces the risk of future heart problems. Open-heart surgeries such as bypass surgery or valve replacement may be required in certain instances.
We must take proactive steps toward prevention and management. Understanding risk factors, recognizing symptoms, seeking timely diagnosis and intervention and embracing heart-healthy lifestyles can pave the way for a healthier heart and a brighter future for the cardiac health landscape.