Predicting and Preventing Heart Attacks… Is it possible?

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Dr. Jason Esses went to Albert Einstein college of medicine.  He did his residency In internal medicine at Beth Israel medical center in Manhattan. Cardiology fellowship at Maimonides medical center in Brooklyn. Currently practices cardiology in Brooklyn.

1. Smoking. A major cause of heart disease, smoking raises blood pressure, causes blood clots, and makes it harder to exercise. And it’s the number one preventable cause of premature death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. By quitting, . within a year, your risk is cut by half. After 10 years of living smoke-free, it’s as if you never smoked at all.

2. Chest pain.  If you have chest pains while exercising, that’s a red flag.  Heart pain can feel more like a pressure rather than actual pain. People tend to feel it in the front of their chest, with the sensation sometimes extending into the shoulders, up into the jaw, or down the left arm. If you feel pressure in your chest and you’re breaking out in a sweat, that’s an urgent matter. Call 911.

3. It’s in your genes. Family history of heart disease is a strong risk factor for predicting your own chances of heart trouble. Having a parent who has had an early heart attack doubles the risk for men having one; in women the risk goes up by about 70%, according to an American Heart Association. But you can still take steps like lowering your LDL (that’s the bad form of cholesterol) by 50% will cut your risks in half.

4. Checkups can identify RISK FACTORS FOR HEART ATTACK.  When you don’t get checked out regularly by a doctor, you might not realize if you have some of the silent heart risk factors that are harder to detect  such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

5. Couch potatoes have  increased heart risks. Physical activity =  living longer. Exercise helps lower blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, encourages weight loss, benefits blood vessel function, and cuts stress, among other things.

6. Heart Medications: If you stop taking your heart medications, you may not feel better or worse afterward. But you could still be heading for a cardiac catastrophe. It’s only when you’re struck with a heart attack or stroke that makes people realize.  When you need them Heart medications are “insurance” against heart attack and stroke.

7.Increased Waisline – doubles your  risk of heart attack. Excess fat tissue in the midsection — giving you an apple-shaped figure — could mean metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that can lead to heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, through hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance, and inflammation.

8. Heart Palpatations  that causes chest discomfort, shortness of breath, the feeling you could faint, or actual fainting could be a sign of a heart arrhythmia. That’s an electrical problem with your heart, causing it to beat either too fast, too slow, or just irregularly.If it happens frequently or is associated with other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

9. Blood pressure if elevated and untreated.  Only about half of American adults with high blood pressure keep it under control. Allowing blood pressure to get out of hand makes the heart work harder and enlarge, leading to heart failure. It can also cause hardened arteries, raising your risks for heart attack, stroke, and other problems.  Diet, exercise, and medications (if needed) can treat high blood pressure.

10. You are what you eat. Being overweight or obese contributes to heart disease, heart failure, and a shorter lifespan. Lasting weight loss is tough to accomplish. But the good news is, even moderate weight loss can improve heart risk factors.


Patient Resources: Managing Your Blood Pressure


The problem of heart disease is one of the biggest that we face today. Heart Disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Presentation, is the number one leading cause of death in the United States. One of the top contributors of Heart Disease in people is the problem of uncontrolled blood pressure. High or low blood pressure can cause undue problems with the heart, which can contribute to heart disease.

High blood pressure is a problem that affects nearly one-third of the population by the time they reach 45 years of age. This rate increase to nearly 60% of the population aged 60 and older having high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure remaining unchecked puts a strain on the working of the heart and could lead to stroke, heart attacks or other heart related problems.

However, with advancements in medicine, monitoring of a patients blood pressure is easier than ever, and if diagnosed with high or low blood pressure, many times people can control it with either a dietary change, the introduction of medicine or a combination of both. If the condition is diagnosed and treated early,

To help learn more about the dangers of uncontrolled blood pressure, we have collected a number of useful resources. Please feel free to return often and use it to remain in good, heart health.

Blood Pressure Definition

Blood Pressure Classifications

Blood Pressure Health Concerns

Prevention and Treatment

General Resources

We hope this article helps educate people about the dangers of both high and low blood pressure, and gives ideas on how to catch this at early stages. Please feel free to refer to this guide at any time!

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Jason Esses, Cardiologist

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