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Heart Problems -Frequently Asked Questions

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Heart Problems -Frequently Asked Questions

5 min read


Worried about the risk of developing a heart problem? This article answers most of the commonly asked questions about heart problems.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sapkal Ganeshrao Patilba

Published At August 1, 2019
Reviewed AtOctober 17, 2022

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack, otherwise called myocardial infarction, is caused when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. It is mainly caused by plaque formation in the blood vessels supplying the heart.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency, so seek immediate medical attention if experiencing any of the following warning signs:

  • Chest pain.

  • Pain in the upper body.

  • Profuse sweating.

  • Fatigue.

  • Breathing problems.

  • Indigestion.

  • Heartburn.

  • Abdominal pain.

The symptoms of a heart attack are different for different people. Sometimes people get a heart attack suddenly without any signs or symptoms, and some people experience a few of the symptoms weeks or days before a heart attack. In general, the more signs and symptoms develop, the more likely it is that a person might get a heart attack.

A recent study says that long working hours can cause heart problems. Researchers found that people who worked 55 hours a week or more were at risk of developing atrial fibrillation. This condition causes the heart to beat very fast and can lead to stroke and heart failure. In this study, they analyzed more than 1,900 people over a long period of time. And the results showed that 43 % of people had some heart-related problem. The percentage of people with heart conditions also increased with an increase in work time.

Does Air Pollution Cause Heart Problems?

A couple of years back, a study claimed pollution to be one of the leading causes of stroke worldwide. The study claimed that even very low levels of pollution that are deemed safe by the environmental protection agency (EPA) are very harmful.

It is believed that low levels of pollution may cause changes similar to heart failure. A study revealed that exposure to nitrogen dioxide causes enlargement of the ventricles of the heart, which is commonly seen in the early stages of heart failure. Researchers found that for every microgram of fine particulate matter 2.5 per cubic meter of air pollution particles and ten micrograms per cubic meter of nitrogen dioxide, the heart ventricles enlarged by one percent.

Can Wearable Gadgets Detect Heart Problems?

Many wearable gadgets, smartwatches, and phone applications claim to detect heart problems. Phones and smartwatches already measure the steps taken and have sensors to detect the heart rate. These pieces of information are crucial to determine heart health. As irregularities in heart rate do not usually cause symptoms in the early stages, such gadgets can be really valuable. Some watch applications claim to detect atrial fibrillations.

These technological advancements have limitations too. For example, as they are expensive, not everyone can afford them. Such devices calculate the heart rate with the help of the pulse. But it is possible to have a normal pulse with an irregular heartbeat.

There are other devices that claim to detect high blood pressure by just keeping them over the chest. But they are not accurate and have missed reading high blood pressure in 8 out of 10 patients.

Which Painkiller Increases the Risk of Heart Problems?

Recently, a study showed that the use of Diclofenac increases the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. Diclofenac belongs to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) group. This research was based on data collected from more than 6.3 million adults over ten years in Denmark. The side effects of taking Diclofenac for a long time are irregular heartbeat, heart failure, ischemic stroke, and heart attack.

What Are the Early Signs of Heart Disease?

If someone experiences any of the following signs and symptoms, never ignore them, as they can be an early indication of heart disease:

  • Chest discomfort.

  • Gastric problems like nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach pain.

  • Chest pain that radiates to the arm.

  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded.

  • Jaw pain.

  • Getting tired easily.

  • High levels of homocysteine.

  • Cold sweats.

  • Long-lasting cough.

  • Irregular heartbeat.

  • Swollen feet and ankles.

What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

The factors that can cause heart disease are:

  • Old age.

  • Males.

  • Family history.

  • Postmenopausal women.

  • Smoking.

  • Obesity.

  • High cholesterol levels.

  • Uncontrolled hypertension.

  • Diabetes.

  • Sedentary lifestyle.

  • Uncontrolled stress.

  • Poor diet.

  • Alcoholism.

What Is the Normal Heart Rate?

The normal range of heart rate in adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute at rest. Usually, a lower heart rate at rest indicates better cardiovascular fitness, so for athletes, the normal heart rate is 40 beats per minute.

What Is Homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid, a normal protein in the blood. A high homocysteine level is considered a risk factor for developing cardiac diseases. The normal homocysteine levels are between 4 and 15 micromoles per liter.

What Is an ECG (Or EKG)?

ECG or EKG stands for electrocardiogram, a diagnostic test that is done to detect heart problems and monitor the heart's status by recording the heart's electrical signals. It is a non-invasive and painless method.

What Is Echocardiography?

Echocardiography or echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to produce images of the heart with the help of sound waves. It is used to spot blood clots in the heart, fluid accumulation around the heart, and any abnormality in the aorta.

What Is Coronary Angiography?

Coronary angiography is done to check for blockage in the coronary artery. In this procedure, X-rays are taken after injecting a contrast dye into the arteries, and the movement of the dye is used to see how the blood flows through the heart.

What Is a Stent?

A stent is placed during the procedure called angioplasty. Angioplasty is done to open the blockage in the coronary artery using a catheter. After the blockage is opened, a stent is placed to keep the vessel open.

What Is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is an electrical device that is used to manage irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). They help treat tachycardia (fast heartbeat) and bradycardia (slow heartbeats).

Is Heart Attack Always Fatal?

Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The fatality depends on how much the heart muscles are damaged during a heart attack. It also depends on the artery that is blocked and the location of the block. If prompt treatment is given and the blockage is removed, the survival rate improves.

How Will the Blood Pressure Be During a Heart Attack?

During a heart attack, as the blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can either lead to an increase or decrease in blood pressure. The changes in blood pressure during a heart attack is very unpredictable, so it is not used as a sign of an attack.

How Much Is the Heart Rate During a Heart Attack?

It is believed that the heart stops beating as soon as there is a heart attack, but this is not true. Depending on where the block is, the heart rate can vary from being very fast or slow or palpitations or missed beats.

How Painful Is a Heart Attack?

Different people experience different symptoms and intensities of pain during a heart attack. Chest pain is commonly seen in most cases, but some people do not have chest pain.

Can a Person Recover from Heart Disease?

Most heart problems are treatable with proper treatment, lifestyle modification, a good diet, and regular exercise.

How Long Does a Person Live After a Heart Attack?

Most people lead a normal and long life if proper treatment and care are given during the first heart attack. 20 % of patients who are 45 years or older get another heart attack within five years of the first one.

How Can Heart Diseases Be Prevented?

Steps to prevent heart diseases are:


Heart problems refer to any condition affecting the heart. Some of them are preventable, and some are not. It should be noted that any symptoms related to heart conditions should not be ignored, and immediate medical advice should be taken. Proper diagnosis and immediate treatment can help manage the problem effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Five Interesting Facts About Heart Disease?

- As a result of heart problems in the United States, one person dies every 34 seconds.
- Heart disease is the common cause of death in both men and women.
- Controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, and smoking can add up to 10 years to a person's lifespan.
- Heart attacks are most frequently seen on Monday mornings and in the fall and winter. Also, morning attacks are more serious.
- Heart disease can make one feel weak to fight off the flu.


How Do I Know If My Heart Is Working Fine?

A vital aspect of heart health examinations is taking the patient's pulse. It counts the heartbeats per minute, determines if the pulse is regular or irregular, and quantifies the intensity of the pulse. Get the pulse checked by a nurse or doctor or yourself.


What Is the Main Cause of Heart Disease?

CAD (coronary artery disease) develops when coronary arteries cannot provide the heart with enough blood, oxygen, and nutrition. Plaques or cholesterol deposits are the main reason. Arteries will get more congested due to these buildups, reducing blood flow to the heart. This may result in heart attack symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain.


What Disease Can Damage the Heart?

The heart is impacted by CAD, commonly known as coronary artery disease. In the United States, it is the most prevalent heart disease. CAD develops when coronary arteries cannot provide the heart with enough blood, oxygen, and nutrition. Plaques or cholesterol deposits are the leading causes that can damage the heart.


Who Suffers from Heart Disease?

Heart disease is the common cause of death for both sexes and members of most racial and ethnic groups. Cardiovascular disease claims one life in the United States every 34 seconds. In the United States, heart disease claims one in five fatalities.


What Are the Symptoms of Minor Heart Blockage?

The symptoms of minor heart blockage include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Tightness in the chest.
- Fatigue.
- Chest pain.


How Can I Test My Heart at Home?

Purchase a blood pressure monitor. Precisely evaluate heart rate to determine the individual's health with a blood pressure cuff or pulse monitor.


Can the Heart Repair Itself?

Yes. After a heart attack, the heart muscle quickly starts to repair. The healing process typically takes eight weeks. In the damaged area, scar tissue may develop, which does not contract or pump as healthy muscular tissue.


How to Detect Heart Disease?

The following tests can be used to identify cardiac disease in addition to blood testing, chest X-ray, and ECG (electrocardiogram). The electrical signals in the heart are captured by an ECG, which is a rapid and painless examination. It can determine whether the heart is beating too quickly or slowly.


What Is the Best Medicine for the Heart?

Acebutolol, Atenolol, Betaxolol, Bisoprolol or Hydrochlorothiazide, Bisoprolol, Metoprolol, Nadolol, and Propranolol are among the drugs that are frequently prescribed.


What Habits Cause Heart Disease?

The five bad habits lead to the onset of heart disease. These five include smoking, not exercising, being overweight, eating improperly, and consuming too much alcohol.


At What Age Does Heart Disease Start?

Any age can be affected by heart disease and cause it. However, younger adults between the ages of 35 to 64 with high rates of obesity and hypertension are at an earlier stage of life risk for heart disease.


How Can I Make My Weak Heart Stronger?

Some examples are running, swimming, cycling, tennis, and jumping rope. Doctors advise at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity, which they define as heart-pumping aerobic exercise.


Can Heart Problems Be Fixed without Surgery?

Medication can be used to successfully treat various heart diseases, including excessive blood pressure and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). Giving thrombolytic drugs intravenously to dissolve the blood clot causing the heart attack is another way to treat heart attacks.


What Vitamins Are Best for the Heart?

Supplements that can boost heart health are omega-3 fatty acids, traces of magnesium, vitamin B9, folate (folic acid), grape seed extract, vitamin D, and calcium supplements.
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Dr. Sapkal Ganeshrao Patilba
Dr. Sapkal Ganeshrao Patilba



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