Spending hours at a table eating heartily, all washed down with alcohol and in a climate that is sometimes stressful due to the many preparations and tense discussions: whether this scene makes you feel happy or sad, know that it identifies several factors risk of having a heart attack. A study published by the American Heart Association on December 12 indicates that the number of heart attack victims is highest during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Myocardial infarction occurs when a blood clot blocks the coronary artery and thus deprives the heart of oxygen. This obstruction leads to the destruction of part of the heart muscle. In France, each year, 80,000 people suffer from heart attacks and 12,000 die, according to Inserm. That’s around 30 people a day. To prevent deaths, every minute counts. So we help you recognize the signs of a heart attack.
Chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath
Chest pain, whether at rest or during exertion, is the primary symptom of myocardial infarction. This vice-like tightness is intense and can extend to the arms and back. “You have to worry when chest pains come on suddenly, but also when they have been preceded by shorter chest pains,” explains Jean-Jacques Monsuez, cardiologist.
When the pain is brutal, it can be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, or even palpitations. “In some people, there are sudden rhythmic crashes with extremely intense chest pain, malaise, loss of consciousness and it can go as far as sudden death.” Pain should therefore not be neglected, especially with regard to women, insists the cardiologist.
Women and young people also concerned
Because there are differences between the two genders. According to Jean-Jacques Monsuez, we worry less about women because we often consider that they are less affected. “If a man experiences sudden chest pain at night, his wife will immediately think he’s having a heart attack. While the reverse is not always true, despite all the awareness campaigns that have been made, ”laments the cardiologist. However, menopausal women are almost as likely to suffer a heart attack as their male counterparts. Of the 40,597 people who died of a heart attack in 2005, 40% were female. A significant number, then.
Also be careful not to minimize chest pain in a person who has never felt it before and who is not imagined to be threatened. “Young people can also be victims of a heart attack, especially when they smoke or there are cases in their family, recalls the doctor. Family background, like age, is a risk factor. »
Tobacco, physical inactivity, hypertension and diabetes involved
Tobacco but also high blood pressure, diabetes, physical inactivity, overweight, too rich food or cholesterol are risk factors. People who combine these characteristics must therefore be particularly vigilant.
One in six people who have had a heart attack die. People who often did not have time to go to the hospital. “Unfortunately some experience extremely intense chest pain and arrhythmia which can lead to sudden death before they even reach the hospital. This is the whole current problem of mortality linked to sudden cardiovascular accidents. »
So if you notice these symptoms in a loved one or in yourself, call 15 right away. The Samu will ask you a few questions and in the event of a suspected heart attack, an electrocardiogram will be carried out at the hospital. The earlier this call, the lower the risk of death. Because “with the effectiveness of current care, people who arrive at the hospital survive”, recalls the cardiologist.
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