Signs of a heart attack in young people worry many. After all, it is traditionally believed that problems with the heart muscle usually begin in old age as the body ages. In fact, seizures can also occur in fairly young people. But not everyone knows their symptoms.
How to recognize an incipient heart attack in those who have not yet turned 40, who are at risk, and what measures must be taken to avoid a disaster, AiF.ru told Galina Lazarenko, cardiologist, Consultative and Diagnostic Department of the Federal Center for Brain and Neurotechnology, FMBA of Russia, doctor of the highest category, candidate of medical sciences…
Development of pathology
“Ischemic heart disease is getting younger and is increasingly diagnosed in people under 45. Obviously, this is due to a change in lifestyle: frequent stress, lack of the necessary minimum physical activity, the predominance of sedentary work, movement by car, unhealthy diet – all this leads to a violation of lipid metabolism, increased cholesterol, excess weight, impaired carbohydrate metabolism, increased blood pressure “- says Galina Lazarenko.
All these conditions, the specialist notes, are combined under the general name metabolic syndrome. It promotes the development of early atherosclerosis in the vessels, the rapid progression of the growth of atherosclerotic plaque.
“In order to understand when it is time to see a doctor, it is enough to measure the circumference of the abdomen. And if it is more than 94 cm in men and more than 80 cm in women, then there are signs of metabolic syndrome and a reason to undergo an examination, ”says the cardiologist.
Of course, many are interested in who is at risk in order to understand whether it is worth fearing and worrying. “To determine the risk group, there is a special SCORE scale, developed to assess the risk of developing cardiovascular events over the next 10 years,” says Galina Lazarenko.
The main factors used to assess the level of risk:
- Systolic pressure level;
- The value of total cholesterol;
“But it is important to know that even at low risk (for example, a young person does not smoke and his cholesterol level is normal), there are additional factors that affect the possibility of developing cardiovascular disease. So, the risk increases if the next of kin had an early myocardial infarction or cerebral stroke ”- says.
An important additional risk factor is lowering “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the doctor says. Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism and a sedentary lifestyle also appear to be independent predictors of an increased risk of early heart attacks.
“People with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus, and a previously established diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, elevated total cholesterol levels above 8 mmol / L and an increase in blood pressure above 180/110 mm Hg are at high risk and should be monitored at a cardiologist, ”says Galina Lazarenko.
It is also important to pay attention to the development of erectile dysfunction. In more than half of the cases, the cause may be impaired blood flow in the artery of the male organ, says the cardiologist. “Atherosclerosis begins with small arteries. Currently, erectile dysfunction is one of the early markers of coronary heart disease! ” – warns Galina Lazarenko.
And, of course, disturbed sleep patterns, frequent changes of time zones, work at night also contribute to the faster development of atherosclerosis, says Galina Lazarenko.
There are a number of factors that can act as provocateurs for the development of a heart attack in young people. “In addition to those factors that can affect the development of atherosclerosis, it is important to say about conditions that are not associated with the growth of plaque in the vessels of the heart, but that can provoke heart problems in young people. These are factors that reduce the supply of oxygen to the heart. For example, iron deficiency anemia or thyroid dysfunction – hyperthyroidism, ”says Galina Lazarenko.
In addition, she calls the development of inflammation in the vessels after viral diseases a provocateur. The list also contains:
- The presence of bad habits: smoking, alcohol can be a provoking factor for sudden blood clots, drugs can provoke a spasm of the heart vessels and lead to a heart attack;
- The use of oral contraceptives in women, which can cause sudden thrombosis in blood vessels, including cardiac ones, with a certain predisposition to increased thrombosis.
Many are interested in whether a heart attack in young people can develop, which is called out of the blue. “Yes, indeed, at a young age, myocardial infarction most often develops without previous pain in the heart. But, as we said above, if you pay attention in time to the developing changes that at first glance are not related to the heart, you can start preventive measures in time and prevent the development of an attack, ”says Galina Lazarenko.
How to recognize?
“Young people often do not notice the first warning bells that can lead to a heart attack, but it is worth paying attention to symptoms such as
- discomfort behind the sternum or shortness of breath that occurs during physical or psycho-emotional stress;
- episodes of erectile dysfunction;
- attacks of severe weakness after exercise.
When these appear, it is better to consult a doctor in order to take action in time.
“First, it is necessary to assess risk factors when identifying the first signs of metabolic syndrome: an increase in abdominal circumference, increased blood pressure, increased cholesterol, C-reactive protein, blood sugar, immediately consult a cardiologist or endocrinologist. This will allow us to develop an individual plan of preventive measures as early as possible, ”says Galina Lazarenko.
It is also worth quitting smoking as early as possible and optimizing physical activity. “All healthy people need aerobic exercise of medium intensity 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, or high intensity for at least 20 minutes a day 3 times a week. Compulsory walking 10,000 steps daily.
You can determine the required intensity of the load by the pulse during training:
The maximum heart rate will be equal to the difference between 220 and the patient’s age. 60-70% of the obtained value will be the optimal heart rate for medium-intensity loads, 75-85% for intense workouts, ”the cardiologist notes.
And, of course, the doctor emphasizes, it is extremely important to normalize nutrition: exclude from the diet fast, easily digestible carbohydrates, alcohol, saturated fats (meat with visible fat, for example), increase the proportion of foods containing polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 acids, sea fish, olive , flaxseed oil), whole grains, vegetables and fruits (at least 5-6 servings per day), reduce salt intake (up to 2-3 grams per day).