The cardiovascular pathologiesunfortunately, they are very common in Italy (they represent the leading cause of hospitalization with 1 million cases per year and the main cause of death, 36% of all deaths from heart attack, stroke or other forms of ischemia).
The Covid-19 epidemic has increased the problem, as pointed out by the Italian Society of Cardiology SIC4: there are 50% fewer hospitalizations for coronary syndromes but an increase in mortality from heart attack tripled compared to 2019.
For this reason, prevention (ie a healthy lifestyle and periodic control of the values concerned) has become even more important, even more so for those who have already suffered an event of this kind.
Heart attack – Symptoms
Infarction, as unfortunately known, is a lesion of the muscular wall of the heart, the myocardium. If a heart attack occurs, the blood flow inside the coronary arteries (which carry nutrients and oxygen to the myocardium) is interrupted due to the formation of a thrombus (which forms due to atherosclerotic plaques, i.e. accumulations of fat made mainly of cholesterol). Due to this process, the heart cells are no longer fed and die.
Symptoms of a heart attack are as follows: pain in the chest, which radiates to the neck, left arm, back, often accompanied by cold sweats and general malaise (paleness and pain), difficulty in breathing, weight on the stomach and a sense of distress .
In the event of a heart attack, the possibility of a second event is greater, which is why secondary prevention must be implemented, that is, strictly follow the instructions of the treating doctor.
Heart in shape – What habits to follow
– quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
– always keep cholesterol under control
– always follow the therapy prescribed by the doctor and do not interrupt it for any reason
– drastically reduce alcohol consumption and follow a low-sodium and hypoglycemic diet
– if you have diabetes, have an adequate diet and do the physical activity that is prescribed, always trying to maintain your weight
– carry out physical activity suited to your health
– do not get too stressed
– sleep at least 6-8 hours a night
– always keep the LDL cholesterol value under control, which if present in excess damages the arteries and increases the risk of heart attack because it favors the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
– for patients at risk, LDL cholesterol values must always be below 55 mg / dl; for patients who have already had a heart attack the value must always be below 40 mg / dl; for low-risk subjects it is sufficient to keep a value that must be less than 115 mg / dl
– among the other values that must be kept under control we have the triglycerides (lipids present in the blood circulation), which must always be below 150 mg / dl
– blood pressure must be below 135 mmHg for the maximum and 85 mmHg for the minimum; it must always be measured in rest conditions
– weight and obesity are two other risk factors for hypertension; for this reason it is always preferable to check your BMI (Body Mass Index) and your waist circumference; weighing too much in relation to one’s height and having excessive abdominal fat contributes to increasing the risk of being a victim of cardiovascular diseases