How to spot signs of a heart attack, ahead of World Heart Day
Saturday, September 29 is World Heart Day, created by the World Heart Foundation to inform people about the dangers of cardiovascular disease, as well as the actions they can take to prevent and control them.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.5 million lives a year.
It is estimated that every seven minutes, one adult has a heart attack in the UK.
A delay in diagnosing a heart attack may cause a delay to potentially life-saving treatment and this can have catastrophic consequences.
Sadly, experts believe that the majority of deaths from heart disease are largely preventable.
High blood pressure is a crucial risk factor for developing coronary heart disease and heart attacks, however, often shows no symptoms at all.
It is always a good idea to get your blood pressure checked when you see your GP.
Your ideal blood pressure may vary, depending on your medical history, so it’s best to speak to your GP or online doctor about what your target blood pressure should be.
Preventative lifestyle changes you can make include eating a balanced diet, monitoring your salt and alcohol intake, stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise.
Treatment for CVD includes a variety of repeat medication that is suited to the individual patient.
These may include antiplatelets, statins or beta-blockers. Talk to your GP or online doctor about your best options.
The more common signs and symptoms of a heart attack are:
* Chest pain, often to the centre or left of the chest
* Chest pain that travels to other parts of the body such as the neck, jaw or left arm
* Being short of breath
* Feeling or being sick
* Sense of dread, often referred to as a ‘sense of impending doom’
The most important thing is to not panic, do your research and talk to your GP or online doctor about your options.
Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.