world heart day 2022, Although heart attack In what is becoming increasingly common in almost all age groups, there are times when we really struggle to take the appropriate action when one hits. Its symptoms are often associated with other health conditions such as angina, anxiety attack, acidity, stroke among others. This is the reason why many people fail to take timely action in case of a heart attack as they think that chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness or nausea may be due to other health problems. You should also be aware of risk factors and important screenings for your heart. Educating yourself about heart conditions can go a long way in warding off trouble. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions that come to your mind regarding the health of your heart as it is important to know about this vital organ. (Also read: World Heart Day 2022: Important lifestyle changes after a heart attack
On the occasion of World Heart Day, Dr. Anand Parikh, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Wockhardt Hospitals Nashik, answers frequently asked questions by people about their heart health.
FAQ 1: Are heart attack and stroke the same?
a: No, a heart attack involving the heart is also known as myocardial infarction. Stroke involving the brain is also called paralysis or cerebrovascular accident.
FAQ 2: Do all heart attack patients die? If I had a heart attack would I die?
a: No, in fact, all heart attack patients can be saved provided they reach hospitals on time and get proper treatment.
FAQ 3: I don’t think I’ve had a heart attack, I think it’s acidity.
a: No, not even a good doctor can tell the difference between the two unless you get an ECG done.
FAQ 4: Does a heart attack always mean a blockage?
a: No, a heart attack can occur without blockages like blood clots, (plaque) rupture, coronary spasm, dissection, etc.
FAQ 5: What is the difference between angina and heart attack?
a: Angina is chest pain upon exertion. Once the patient rests, the chest pain subsides. A heart attack is characterized by persistent chest pain and lasts for more than 10 minutes. The pain persists during a heart attack, at rest, and even after taking antacids and painkillers.
FAQ 6: Will I have a heart attack only if I have diabetes/hypertension/obesity/smoking?
a: No, you can have a heart attack even if you are non-diabetic or do not have high blood pressure, obesity, or even if you do not smoke.
FAQ 7: I do not have a family history of heart attacks; Can I still have a heart attack?
a: Yes, even if you don’t have a family history, you can still have a heart attack.
FAQ 8: Alcohol only damages the liver, so is it good for the heart?
a: No, all wines/whiskeys are injurious to the heart except the liver. Even when consumed in small amounts, they damage the heart muscle.
FAQ 9: If I completely stop oil, ghee and butter, will my cholesterol be completely reduced to zero?
a: Even if you stop consuming cholesterol products from the outside, your body still produces cholesterol from the inside for which medicines will have to be taken.
FAQ 10: Will the drug increase my good cholesterol?
a: No, the drugs can only lower bad cholesterol (LDL), they will not increase good cholesterol (HDL). Only exercise can raise good cholesterol.
FAQ 11: My diabetes/BP/cholesterol is all under control, will I still have a heart attack?
a: Yes, you can still have a heart attack but if things are controlled then the chances are very less.
FAQ 12: I checked my BP sugar, lipid profile and ECG last year, should I check it again?
a: Yes, they fluctuate from time to time and you need to check them every 6 months. And those who are already taking medicine, they should get themselves tested every 3 months.
FAQ 13: My ECG is normal, can I have a heart attack in future also?
a: The ECG only reflects the past and present, and cannot predict future heart attacks.
FAQ 14: My 2D echo is normal, can I have a heart attack in future also?
a: Yes, like ECG, 2D Echo can only tell present and past and cannot predict future heart attack.
FAQ 15: My TMT is negative, can I still have a blockage and vice versa? My TMT was positive but the angiography is normal.
a: Yes, the accuracy of TMT test is only 70% so it can happen.
FAQ 16: My heartbeat is between 50-60 liters, should I be worried?
a: No, the less it is, the better. As long as it is not very low, i.e. below 40, there is no need to worry.
FAQ 17: Once I have had angioplasty, will I need further angiography/bypass?
a: No, stents can last a lifetime if you continue to take proper medication.