Patient Education
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What are the common symptoms of cardiac disease?

Heart Attack may cause some or all of these symptoms:

  • Pain, pressure, fullness, discomfort of squeezing in the center of the chest.
  • Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing.
  • Stabbing chest pain.
  • Radiating pain to shoulder(s), neck, back, arm(s) of jaw.
  • Pounding heartbeats (palpitation) of feeling extra heartbeats.
  • Upper abdominal pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting or severe indigestion.
  • Cold sweating for no apparent reason.
  • Dizziness with weakness.
  • Sudden extreme fatigue.
  • Panic with feeling of impending doom.

What are the Risk Factors of heart disease?

Risk factors are conditions or habit that habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will disease will get worse. Important risk factors for heart for heart disease that you can do something about are:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Age (55 of older for women)

Some risk factors, such as age and family history of early heart disease, can’t be changed. For women, age becomes a risk factor at 55. After menopause, women are more apt to get heart disease, in part because their body’s production of estrogen drops. Women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. Another reason for the increasing risk is that middle age is a time when women tend to develop risk factors for heart disease. Family history of early heart disease in another risk factor that can’t be changed. If your father if brother had a heart attack before age 55 of if your mother or sister had one before age 65, you are more likely to get heart disease yourself.

While certain risk factors cannot be changed, it is important to realize that you do have control over many others. Regardless of your age, background, or health status, you can lower your risk of heart disease-and in doesn’t have to be complicated. Protecting your heart can be as simple as taking a brisk walk, whipping up a good vegetable soup, or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.

Some women believe that doing just one healthy thing will take care of all of their heart disease risk. For example, they may think that if they walk or swim regularly, they can still smoke and stay fairly healthy. Wrong! To protect your heart, it is vital to make changes that address each risk factor you have. You can make the changes gradually, one at a time. But making them is very important. Other women may wonder: If I have just one risk factor for heart disease- say, I’m overweight of I have high blood cholesterol- aren’t I more or less “safe”? Absolutely not. Each risk factor greatly increases a woman’s chance of developing heart disease. But having more than one risk factor is especially serious, because risk factors tend to “gang up” and worsen each others effects. So, the message is clear: Every woman needs to take her heart disease risk seriously-and take action now to reduce that risk.

What is the difference between heart attack and stroke?

A heart attack occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen and part of it dies. This is usually caused by blocked arteries that feed the heart muscle.

A stroke occurs when the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. There are two kinds of strokes: hemorrhagic, when you bleed into your brain and embolic, when a clot breaks loose from an artery and blocks a vessel in the brain. Either type of stroke can result in neurologic injury.



What is the difference between heart attack and heart failure?

Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when the supply of blood and oxygen to the area of the heart muscle is blocked usually by clot in a coronary artery often; this blockage leads to arrhythmias, irregular heartbeat of rhythm that causes a severe decrease in pumping of the heart function and may bring sudden death. If the blockage is not treated within a few hours the affected heart muscle will die and be replaced by scar tissue.

Difference between cardiac arrest, heart failure, heart attack.

Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops, so there is no circulation.

Heart failure means your heart muscle does not pump as much as your body needs. Failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. It means that your heart is not pumping as well as should.

A heart attack occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries are blocked.

What is open heart surgery? Is it safe? Could death occur during it?

Open heart surgery is when they crack your chest and work on the naked heart. It is safe, as doctors take every precaution they can to make sure it is. However there is always a risk with any of surgery, and you should know that in advance. Do not get yourself worked up over this, as stress can lead to operating room problems with patients. Just be aware that the doctor doing the surgery has done this many times before, and knows what he is doing and that there are people that will go above and beyond to take good care of all their patients.

What is the difference between Congenital and Congestive Heart Failure?

Congenital Heart Disease simply means that a person is born with a faulty heart. Congestive Heart Failure means that the heart is not pumping as efficiently as it’s supposed to be. As a result, the body’s need for oxygen-rich blood is not met. Congestive heart failure is a condition in which weakened heart function exists together with a build-up of body fluid. CHF can be caused by many forms of heart disease:

1. Narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle.

2. Past heart attack with a large enough scar tissue to interfere with the heart muscle.

3. High blood pressure.

4. Heart valve disease of due to past rheumatic fever or an abnormality present since birth.

5. Primary disease of the heart (cardiomyopathy).

6. Congenital heart disease (defects present at birth)

7. Infection of the heart valves and/or heart muscle itself (endocarditic and/or mycarditics)

As you can see congenital heart disease is a cause of heart failure.

I have acted and continue to act as a health advocate for family members who suffered and suffering from congestive heart failure. This means that I have spent a lot of time in medical libraries that are open to the public. I am going to suggest that you go to the site of The American Heart Association where you ca get the most helpful materials on CHF. You can also suggest that you have someone accompany you to a few of your doctor’s appointments; a second pair of ears is very helpful. CHF is a condition that you can with live with for a very long time.

What does it feel like to have a heart attack?

Believe it or not, up to 25% of people have what are called “silent heart attacks.” They are symptom-free and don’t know that something is wrong! This type of heart attack can be particularly scary because the person will not know to seek the appropriate medical treatment. The majority of sufferers, however, can experience symptoms such as chest pain that radiates through the upper body to the arms, necks, shoulders, or jaw; shortness of breath; a fast and irregular heartbeat; fatigue; nausea; or a grey facial color. these symptoms can occur in both men and women, but women may experience pain high in the abdomen of in the back, neck, of jaw instead of the chest . They may also have difficulty sleeping, appear to have indigestion, or feel anxious.

Bottom line – pay attention to your body! If something doesn’t feel right, go to your doctor for a check-up. Better to be safe than sorry!

What is the difference between a normal and massive heart attack?

Heart attack is a process where an artery feeding the heart muscle with oxygenated blood becomes blocked or is obstructed, to the point where “infarction” occurs. Infarction is deprivation of oxygen causing cell death.

Differentiating a “massive” heart attack verses a regular heart attack does not have any specific medical criteria. Usually we talk about a massive heart attack in terms of the end outcome…”he had a massive heart attack and died” or “he had a massive heat attack, he’s in intensive care and its touch and go.” Now, why would one type of heart attack be minor and another be massive?

Arteries are like trees. Large ones feed smaller branches, etc. So a massive heart attack has to do how far upstream the artery is blocked, what the blocked artery feed, the extent of the blockage, and amount of time it took before reperfusion was accomplished. There are very large arteries that are the main arteries feeding others- left Main and Left Anterior Descending, for instance. The left side of the heart is the largest and the one responsible for pumping blood through the body. So any artery feeding the left side heart function is critical.

If its one of the two arteries mentioned above and it’s a complete blockage then death or mortal injury is very likely unless you are surrounded by medical people when it happens.

On the other Hand if a small artery is 85% blocked downstream and feeds the right side of the heart; then by blood test or EKG the person has had a heart attack, but might have walked around with it for days.

Is there a specific difference in having a heart attack and an Angina?

The Key difference between angina and heart attack is the blood flow. In angina, blood flow is temporarily reduced.

In a heart attack, blood flow to the heart muscle is suddenly stopped. In a heart attack the heart muscle is actually damaged beyond repair.

How do you tell the difference between chest pains from a heart attack or congest?

Chest pain for pleurisy is typically more painful with deep inspiration. It lacks any element of Shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea/vomiting, and a sense of impending doom.

Cardiac pain can be but is just as often a typical with female patients. Typically cardiac pain is a heavy, full, or crushing pain (some people never call it “pain”) at the central chest it is rarely sharp. It rarely can be localized to one spot. It may radiate to the neck or jaw. It may involve both shoulders and radiate down the arms. It may also be felt between the shoulder blades. Cardiac chest pain almost always comes with some element of shortness of breath. It often is precipitated by exertion or emotional excitement and is improved with rest (e.g. worse with climbing stairs, better with sitting).

What is the difference between a stroke and cardiac arrest?

Cardiac Arrest

When a person stops breathing and has no heartbeat, the condition is called cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest may have a variety of causes? Heart attack, drowning, stroke, electrocution, suffocation, drug overdose, motor vehicle or other injury.


1. A sudden severe attack, as of paralysis or sunstroke.

2. A sudden loss of brain function caused by a blockage or rupture of a blood vessel to the brain, resulting in necrosis of brain tissue and characterized by loss of muscular control, diminution or loss of sensation or consciousness, dizziness, slurred speech, or other symptoms that vary with the extent and severity of brain damage. Also cerebral accident, cerebral infarction, cerebra-vascular accident.

Why heartburn is sometimes called acid indigestion?

The burning sensation of heartburn is caused when the acids from your stomach travel up to your esophagus. The acids in your stomach are quite normal. In fact, that’s what helps to digest your food. And your stomach has a protective lining that can shield against these acids. However, your esophagus does not have this lining and is very sensitive to gastric acid. Fortunately the symptoms of heartburn/acid indigestion can be treated with over the counter medications.

Do you think that death by heart failure would feel the same as dearth by heart attack?

I’m assuming that heart failure means “congestive heart failure”, or CHF. As far as a heart attack or acute myocardial infarctions (AMI) go, they are sometimes very quick and then they’re gone (sadly). SHF isn’t usually like AMI. CHF is usually a very chronic disease managed medically, although a lot of CHF patients are a huge risk for AMI (and usually die from it, too). But to just straight up die from CHF is probably a slower process and you have more time to reflect and be with your family and friends. Ultimately people with CHF have an AMI or some lethal heart rhythm that is overwhelming. AMI can be very sudden and deadly, although a lot of times it is not this way. Hope it helped, mate.

How do you tell the difference between a heart attack and anxiety attack?

Although an anxiety attack makes you believe you are having a heart attack, a attack makes you know you are having a heart attack.

Anxiety attacks are horrible and horrifying. Breathing into a brown paper bag will usually bring that under control. This puts back into your system the carbon dioxide that you have been pumping out because of hyperventilating.

A heart attack feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest. Everything tightens up, your arm hurts and your breathing can become laborer. You may also feel nauseated. These symptoms can also present during an anxiety attack.

How can I tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack?

Unfortunately panic attacks can mimic a heart attack to the point where the only way to tell is by doing an EKG and blood tests.

Best case scenario is its anxiety. Worst case, it is cardiac related and the longer you wait, the more damage is done.

How to Tell the Difference between a Heart Attack and Heartburn?

If you’ve ever finished a meal and began to experience chest pain, you might have found yourself wondering if it were simply heartburn or an impending heart attack. Hopefully, it wasn’t the latter. However, the signs and symptoms of heartburn and heart attack can often be similar. Whether you currently suffer from frequent heartburn or believe you may be at risk for a heart attack, knowing how to tell the difference between a heart attack and heartburn could save your life. Understand that heartburn is a symptom, not a disease in itself. Heartburn is characterized by pain or a burning sensation in the center of the chest and acid reflux. Frequent of severe heartburn may be an indication of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and requires medical attention.

Know that heartburn is caused by a malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows partially digested food and stomach acid to return or “splash” back up through esophagus. There is usually a bad taste left in the mouth and a burning sensation in the throat. This does not occur during a heart attack. Be aware that one key difference between a heart attack and heartburn is a persistent feeling of tightening or crushing in the center of the chest as opposed to a momentary burning sensation. This pain isn’t alleviated by changing body position and lasts longer than a typical bout of heartburn. Know that pain associated with a heart attack often radiates from the center of the chest to the left arm, both arms, shoulders, back, neck or jaw. This is always an indication that you should seek medical attention immediately.

Pay attention to symptoms of nausea. While both heartburn and heart attack can present with nausea, there is a way to tell the difference between them. With heartburn, the nausea is usually short-lived and the result of stomach upset. In a heart attack, however, nausea is often accompanied with dizziness, difficulty breathing and profuse sweating. This is because a heart attack causes the body to respond on a variety of levels due to being in a state of crisis.