Heart disease: Two key signs you’re at risk of a heart attack

Heart attack: Experts claim a vegan diet can 'help prevent' them

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Cholesterol-containing deposits, known as plaques, embed alongside the artery walls, restricting oxygenated blood flow to the heart muscle. As a consequence, the heart struggles to receive the oxygen, blood and nutrients that it needs. One key warning sign that you’ve developed heart disease – meaning you’re at risk of a heart attack – is chest pain.

This is known as angina, which occurs when the heart isn’t getting enough blood.

Angina usually occurs on the middle or left side of the chest, the Mayo Clinic certified.

Chest pain tends to be triggered by physical or emotional stress.

The pain usually goes away on its own minutes after the stressor has disappeared.

For instance, if you’re walking and feel pressure or tightness in your chest, after you stand still for a few minutes, the pain will go away.

Some people have said that angina feels like a “sharp” and “brief” pain in the neck, arm, or back.

“A complete blockage [of blood supply to the heart] can cause a heart attack,” warned the Mayo Clinic.

Heart disease can take decades to develop, so you may not notice you have an issue until there is a significant blockage to the heart muscle.

Another key indication you’re at high risk of a heart attack is if you start to develop shortness of breath.

“If your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with activity,” the Mayo Clinic expanded.

Signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain in other parts of the body
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling sick or being sick
  • An overwhelming sense of anxiety
  • Coughing or wheezing.

If you believe you might be having a heart attack at any point, do call 999 and request an ambulance.

Artery damage can begin in childhood, the Mayo Clinic pointed out.

The damage can be caused by:

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes or insulin resistance
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking.

“Breathing in secondhand smoke also increases a person’s risk of coronary artery disease,” the Mayo Clinic added.

Unrelieved stress can also have a negative impact on the arteries.

To help prevent a heart attack – whether you have heart disease or not – it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve not followed good habits previously in your life, change can occur right this instance.

Heart attack prevention includes:

  • Being a non-smoker
  • Controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Be a healthy weight
  • Reduce and manage stress.

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