Tips for prevention of Heart Attack

Heart attack means sudden occlusion of arteries of the heart by blood clots resulting in compromised  blood supply to heart. Primary function of heart is to pump blood to various part of our body.

Heart depends on these coronary arteries for its blood supply and nutrition. Over a period of years, excess amount of fat which we take in our diet gets deposited in various parts of our body including arteries of heart.

Accumulation of these fat deposits called plaques leads to narrowing of arteries. Whenever a plaque becomes unstable, thin layer of membrane over this plaque either ruptures or erodes leading to formation of blood clot over that site. This leads to sudden complete occlusion of arteries beyond that point leading to what is called as heart attack. Here are some tips to prevent heart attack.


  • Sudden chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Loss of consciousness or giddiness
  • Palpitation or excess heart beating
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Sudden death
  • Acute confusional state or stroke

Risk factors :

  • hypertension
  • elevated cholesterol levels
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • sedentary habits
  • stressful life
  • family history of heart attack or sudden death


  • from history of symptoms
  • ECG
  • Echocardiography
  • Blood tests like cardiac enzymes
  • Coronary angiography


  • lifestyle modification including regular physical activity, fat restricted diets
  • control of diabetes mellitus
  • control of hypertension
  • control of cholesterol levels
  • smoking cessation
  • plenty of fresh fruits and antioxidants in diet


  • “Time is muscle” – whenever there is doubt that a person is having a heart attack, he should immediately consult a doctor and rush to a nearby hospital rather than think that his problem is due to “GAS” and waste valuable time taking some antacids or something else of his own.
  • sublingual nitrate preparation helps to improve blood supply to heart
  • medicines which help to “thin” the blood like aspirin, clopidogrel
  • cholesterol lowering medicines
  • injectable medicines which help to dissolve blood clots are very useful provided they are used as early as patient suffers from a heart attack. More it is delayed to administer these medicines they loose their efficacy to dissolve the clots
  • Blocked arteries can be opened by removing the clots and putting a stent at the site of blockage ( primary angioplasty)

By Dr. Anup Khetan
Inverventional Cardiologist,
Rabindranath Tagore International
Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata

Published in Health Insurance in India – Review from The Insurance Times

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