FAQ

Acute coronary syndrome: heart attack and angina pectoris are not far away

Acute coronary syndrome, is a term used to describe a series of conditions associated with a sudden reduction in blood flow to the heart. Heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when cell death leads to damage or destruction of heart tissue. Even when acute coronary syndrome does not cause cell death, the reduced blood flow alters how the heart works. This is a sign of a high risk of heart attack. Acute coronary syndrome often causes severe chest pain or discomfort. This is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. The goals of treatment include improving blood circulation, treating complications, and preventing future problems.

Symptoms of acute coronary syndrome

Signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome usually begin abruptly. They understand :

Pain (angina pectoris) or discomfort, often described as pain, pressure, tightness or burning sensation
Pain spreading from chest to shoulders, arms, upper abdomen, back, neck or jaw
Nausea or vomiting
Indigestion
Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
Sudden and profuse sweating (diaphoresis)
Dizziness, vertigo or fainting
Unusual or unexplained fatigue
Feeling restless or apprehensive

Chest pain or discomfort is the most common symptom. However, signs and symptoms can vary greatly depending on your age, gender, and other medical conditions. If you are female, an older adult, or diabetic, you are more likely to experience signs and symptoms without chest pain or discomfort.

When to consult a doctor

Acute coronary syndrome is a medical emergency. Chest pain or discomfort can be a sign of a number of serious and life-threatening conditions. Get emergency help for a quick diagnosis and proper care. Do not drive to the hospital.

Causes of Acute Coronary Syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome usually results from the buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in and on the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscles. When a plaque deposit ruptures or cracks, a blood clot forms. This clot blocks blood flow to the heart muscles. When the oxygen supply to cells is too low, heart muscle cells can die. Cell death, which leads to damage to muscle tissue, is a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

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Even in the absence of cell death, the decrease in oxygen causes heart muscles to not function as they should. This change can be temporary or permanent. When the acute coronary syndrome does not lead to cell death, it is called angina pectoris.

Risk factors for acute coronary syndrome

The risk factors for acute coronary syndrome are the same as those for other types of heart disease. The risk factors for acute coronary syndrome are:

Aging
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Smoking cigarettes
Lack of physical activity
An unhealthy diet
Obesity or overweight
Diabetes
Family history of chest pain, heart disease, or stroke
History of high blood pressure, preeclampsia or diabetes during pregnancy
COVID-19 infection

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