Heart Disease in Men

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Heaart Disease in Men. For years I've asked men if they knew the first warning sign of a heart attack. Virtually no one can answer the question correctly. It isn't severe pain in the chest, loss of mobility on one side of the body, etc., etc. The first sign is "Death". One out of three Americans have Hypertension and over 100,000 people will die unnessisaryly this year of Hypertension. Add it up. More people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, handguns, house fires, and traffic accidents combined. Don't wait for "symptoms."  Change your health habits now before the first warning sign hits!


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His Guide To A Heart Attack: Symptoms In Men
Related Issue: Heart Disease in Women, Heart Health

His Guide To A Heart Attack: Symptoms In Men


On a rainy December day, Stu Bernstein dashed several blocks through downtown San Francisco in a race to catch the last commuter train home. Shortly after the train left the station, the project manager broke into a cold sweat. Then he felt shortness of breath and indigestion-like pain. When pain was radiating down his left arm, Bernstein realized he was experiencing heart attack symptoms.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the U.S, according to the CDC. The latest available American Heart Association figures reveal that in 2003, heart disease killed about 427,000 men As Bernstein would learn, getting help fast can mean the difference between life and death.

Stu Bernstein was familiar with heart attack symptoms, thanks to a job he had once held selling heart drugs to cardiologists. As he started to call 911 on his cell phone, the conductor noticed his distress.

“I’m having a heart attack,” Bernstein told him. The conductor relayed news of the emergency, the train sped faster, and an ambulance rushed to the next station only a few minutes away. Paramedics came aboard and transported Bernstein to a hospital emergency room only a quarter-mile down the road. Doctors began working on his heart within 10 minutes after symptoms began.

Bernstein was only 51—far younger than 66, the average age for men to have a first heart attack. He didn’t see it coming, he says. “It was a distant thought.”

Even though he had a massive heart attack that cost him one-third of his heart function, “I’m alive,” he says.

Recognizing Heart Attack Symptoms in Men

When heart attack symptoms strike, the sooner you can get to an emergency room, the better your chances of survival. During a heart attack, blood flow to heart muscle is reduced or cut off, often because a blood clot blocks an artery. When heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood, it dies.

Ideally, treatments to restore blood flow to heart muscle—for example, clot-dissolving drugs or angioplasty--should begin within one hour after heart attack symptoms begin, according to the American Heart Association.

All men should be familiar with these heart attack symptoms:

“If you watch television movies, you get the impression that the only symptom you need to react to is a heavy, crushing elephant on your chest,” says Mohamud Daya, MD, MS, an associate professor of emergency services at Oregon Health and Science University.

But heart attack symptoms in men can vary widely, and many heart attacks come on slowly.

“You have a spectrum of presentations,” Daya adds. “We tend to make medicine black and white. It really isn’t. People can have very minor symptoms or very major symptoms. That’s the challenge for us.”

For example, when a man shows up with neck rather than chest pain, doctors might think he injured himself lifting something heavy or doing physical work, Daya says. If it turns out to be a heart attack symptom, “The next thing, you find him in sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death. That’s the tragedy of the whole thing. The overlap of symptoms is so huge.”

In other instances, heart attack symptoms in men can be barely detectable. Some people, particularly those with diabetes, can have silent heart attacks with no symptoms at all, according to Randal J. Thomas, MD, a preventive cardiologist and director of the Cardiovascular Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Men: What to Do When Symptoms Appear

If you or someone near you experiences heart attack symptoms, call 911 right away. Don’t delay for more than 5 minutes. Have someone else drive you to the emergency room only if you can’t call 911 for some reason, experts say. Never drive yourself unless you have no other option.

“People need to understand that 911 gets you into the hospital in a really rapid manner,” Daya says. “You bypass a lot of the process in the waiting area and you’re immediately taken back.”

Calling 911 is best, too, because emergency medical personnel can start treatment, such as oxygen, heart medications, and pain relievers, as soon as they arrive. They can also alert the hospital to begin preparations for tests and treatments.

While you’re waiting for an ambulance, here are other ways to help yourself or someone else having heart attack symptoms:

The patient should chew and swallow an aspirin, if there is one on hand.

Patient should stop all activity, lie still and try to remain calm.

If the patient becomes unconscious, stops breathing, and doesn't respond to stimulation, such as shaking, he or she may be in cardiac arrest, that is, the heart may have stopped beating. If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is on hand, follow instructions on the device and use it immediately. The device can deliver an electrical shock that can restore normal heart rhythm and make the heart beat again. If the heart doesn't start beating, a trained person should begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

If the patient becomes unconscious, doesn’t have a pulse, or isn’t breathing, a trained person should perform CPR. If you’re not CPR-trained, a 911 dispatcher may be able to talk you through the steps until help arrives.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Men: When In Doubt, Check It Out

Strong chest pain or discomfort usually send men to the emergency room fast. But if heart attack symptoms are mild, some men wait hours or even a day before seeking help, Thomas says.

Some men worry about being embarrassed if they go to the hospital and are given a clean bill of health, experts say.

“That’s always the case, but how can you tell?” Daya asks. He advises men to play it safe: it’s far better to experience a little embarrassment than to let a heart attack go untreated.

Recently, Daya saw a 35-year-old man, who only a week earlier had been working and riding his bicycle with no chest symptoms. Then one morning, “He was sweeping the floor and had some burning pain in his chest,” Daya says. Even though the pain subsided, the man made a smart move: he came to the emergency room.

“He didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t think it felt like reflux pain. He ended up having three stents the next day. It turned out that three of his arteries were plugged.”

Source: www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/his-guide-to-a-heart-attack

Related Issue: Heart Disease in Women

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