Some of the leading causes of potentially life-threatening heart attacks are preventable. If you want to protect your heart from permanent damage, board-certified cardiologist Georges Feghali, MD, at HeartPlace can help. At locations in Dallas and Corsicana, Texas, Dr. Feghali provides expert heart attack prevention information and support, in addition to treating patients who’ve had heart attacks. To benefit from his expertise, call HeartPlace today or book an appointment online.
A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is a potentially life-threatening event resulting from a lack of oxygen in your heart muscle. Without the oxygen it needs, the muscle begins to die, triggering a heart attack.
A leading cause of heart attacks is coronary artery disease (CAD). This condition develops when the arteries in your heart have atherosclerosis — a condition that can affect any artery and make it too narrow for blood to flow properly.
Atherosclerosis results when plaque (a sticky substance primarily consisting of cholesterol) builds up in the arteries. More plaque means less room for blood to flow. Eventually, the plaque blocks an artery or causes a blood clot to develop that initiates a heart attack.
Heart attack treatment could involve the use of medications such as clot busters and blood thinners (anticoagulants), beta blockers, and anti-arrhythmic medications. Procedures such as balloon angioplasty or pacemaker implantation may be necessary for some patients.
Heart attack prevention helps you avoid the serious consequences of developing coronary artery disease and suffering a heart attack.
The buildup of plaque that causes coronary artery disease and heart attacks is typically due to a diet high in cholesterol. This fatty substance has several forms, one of which is beneficial (high-density lipoprotein or HDL).
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which mainly comes from animal fats, is the one that builds up in your arteries. Being overweight or obese, insufficient exercise, smoking, excessive drinking, and chronic stress can all increase your risk of having a heart attack.
A large part of heart attack prevention is making any necessary changes to those aspects of your life that are increasing your risk.
Dr. Feghali can assess your heart health and create a personalized heart attack prevention plan for you. This might involve:
If you have underlying health problems such as diabetes or hypertension, it's important you get treatment as they can increase your heart attack risk. Dr. Feghali might prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels while you make diet and lifestyle changes.
If Dr. Feghali diagnoses CAD, you might benefit from undergoing balloon angioplasty to widen the arteries, which could help prevent a heart attack.
To find out more about heart attack prevention, call HeartPlace today or book an appointment online.