We have all heard of heart attacks before and likely are aware of the severity of them.
Bearing that in mind, if you had symptoms of an impending medical emergency, would you not investigate further and seek help? After all, if you find yourself with an ear infection or congested chest, would you not go to the doctors? We would like to say the answer is yes, however, when it comes to heart attacks, according to doctors patients are ignoring some tell-tale signs of impending heart attack.
When asked, most people would say that chest pain is the symptoms synonymous with heart attacks, and while they would be right, it isn’t the only sign.
According to a study published in The Lancet, one in six people who died of a heart attack in England between 2006 and 2010 all had early warning signs that went undetected.
Much like everyone is different, so can the signs of a heart attack differ from person to person, and especially between male and females. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, a person should seek medical attention if they are experiencing the following symptoms:
-Upper body discomfort
-Shortness of breath
Some other symptoms to be aware of are an overwhelming sense of anxiety and a wheezing cough.
“Doctors are very good at treating heart attacks when they are the main cause of admission, but we don’t do very well treating secondary heart attacks or at picking up subtle signs which might point to a heart attack death in the near future,” said Dr. Perviz Asaria, lead author of the study.
As per the study in the Lancet, many patients experience symptoms like fainting, shortness of breath and chest pain up to a month before a heart attack occurs, but they go untreated because doctors fail to identify obvious heart damage at the same time.
“This failure to detect warning signs is concerning and these results should prompt doctors to be more vigilant, reducing the chance that symptoms are missed, ultimately saving more lives,” Professor Jeremy Pearson of the British Heart Foundation told the BBC.
While it is important to know the signs and symptoms of an impending heart attack, there are some factors that can increase your risk. These include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity and diabetes, however, even healthy people are at risk if they are over the age of 45 for men or 55 for women.