7 symptoms of a heart attack that can strike exactly a month before

Home Health 7 symptoms of a heart attack that can strike exactly a month before
7 symptoms of a heart attack that can strike exactly a month before

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency and the symptoms usually come on fast.

The main signs are mostly chest pains and feeling light-headed or dizzy, guidance from the UK’s National Health Service says.

However, research has shown that there are seven symptoms that could strike a month before a deadly attack, The Sun reports.

Writing in the journal Circulation, medics found that less than a third of women report chest discomfort before the attack.

Experts at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that 95 per cent of participants had unusual symptoms more than one month before their heart attacks and that these resolved after the event.

The most common seven were:

1. Sleep disturbance (48 per cent)

2. Shortness of breath (42 per cent)

3. Indigestion (39 per cent)

4. Anxiety (35.5 per cent)

5. Heavy/weak arms or legs (24.9 per cent)

6. Changes in thinking (23.9 per cent)

7. Loss of appetite (21.9 per cent)

Speaking to The Sun, one expert said there are a whole host of other symptoms that people might suffer.

Dr Anushka Patchava, deputy chief medical officer for UK-based insurance company, Vitality explained that usual symptoms include chest pain, chest tightness, chest heaviness – which could suggest your heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygenated blood.

There may also be pain or weakness in our legs and arms – again, due to reduced circulation, the expert said.

She added: “Other symptoms of cardiovascular disease might be breathlessness, heart palpitations (when someone can feel their heartbeat).

“This can lead to anxiety, hot sweats and dizziness and feeling faint, as well as tiredness. All signs that the body is not getting enough oxygen.

“With moderate and severe vascular conditions, it is also possible that an individual might experience swollen limbs. Extremities, such as toes or fingers, can go blue which could be a potential sign that you are at risk of a heart attack.

“While chest pain is the most common symptom, other symptoms such as shortness of breath, feeling or being sick and back or jaw pain can also occur.”

When it comes to cardiovascular disease, Dr Patchava explained that it can be split into two parts.

The first, she said, is ‘cardio’, which relates to conditions that affect the heart.

The second, she added is vascular, which refers to conditions that affect the blood vessels such as arteries or veins.

“Narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, for example due to plaque build-up, a condition called atherosclerosis, can contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension).

“Blocked blood vessels can then lead to a heart attack or stroke if the heart or brain are starved of oxygen, with coronary heart disease being the leading cause of heart attacks,” the expert added.

What are the main factors?

Heart and circulatory diseases cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK, data from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) states.

That equates to more than 160,000 deaths a year with close to eight million Brits also living with the illness.

When it comes to what causes cardiovascular disease (CVD), Dr Patchava said one of the biggest risks is smoking.

“Others include being overweight and drinking too much alcohol. In addition to this, there might be metabolic factors, such as high cholesterol or diabetes.

“High stress can lead to high blood pressure, which is a cause of CVD and a contributing factor to heart attacks.

“There are lots of things we can do to manage stress which might include physical activity or looking after mental wellbeing, using techniques such as mindfulness and meditation.”

She added that it’s also important to remember the links between mental health problems, like depression, which can contribute to increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

“If you have a close relative with heart disease you may be likely to suffer from it.

“Equally research also shows that people who are of Black or South Asian ethnicity have a higher risk of heart disease,” she added.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission

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