Baptist Health Richmond: Recognizing Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiologist Larry Todd Breeding, MD, describes what it can feel like when you are having a heart attack and what to do if you’re having symptoms.
Recognizing Cardiovascular Disease HealthTalks Transcript
Larry Todd Breeding, MD, Interventional Cardiology
The symptoms of a heart attack typically are a pressure or heaviness, oftentimes diffusely across the chest. It tends to be poorly localized, so you are less likely to be able to point and say ”It hurts here,” but more of a discomfort, more of a difficulty breathing, a shortness of breath. If you are having symptoms, we highly recommend people call 911. Cardiac arrest en route to the hospital is something that’s been recognized, and for that reason we highly encourage people to call 911, even it’s convenient for them to travel by personal vehicle. There are several risk factors that go along with developing a heart attack: hypertension or high blood pressure, older age, sugar diabetes, high cholesterol and, most especially, cigarette smoking. Generally speaking, if you stop smoking by one year, you will cut your risk of having a heart attack by half. Cardiac rehab is a very important strategy for patients that have experienced a heart attack. In general, people who exercise regularly will have improved cardiovascular health, but will also have secondary benefits such as just an improved overall sense of well-being.