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What are the key differences among cardiac arrest, heart attack & Stroke?

Heart being the strongest muscle in the body, one should take extreme care of it.

Your heart started beating about three weeks after you were Conceived. If you live upto 70, your heart will beat two and a half billion times. Each heartbeat pumps blood around the body that finally reaches the capillaries in all parts of the body.

After your body takes oxygen and nutrients from the blood, it is returned to the heart via the veins to the right chambers of the heart. The blood passes through the liver and waste products are removed, on its way back.

Heart is very prone to damage from the things we do to it, like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet or putting it under stress or going through depression. Nearly 17.3 million people die of cardiovascular diseases every year. There are many risk factors that lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. Some people are born with conditions that make them prone to heart disease and stroke.
But most people develop cardiovascular disease because of a combination of factors such as lack of physical activity, poor diet, smoking, etc. Cardiovascular disease is quite common these days. In fact, some factors that put us more at risk is obesity and diabetes, that has become a growing concern. We should try avoiding cardiovascular disease altogether. It can take some work to convert a high risk for heart disease into a low risk. Hence, we’re here to tell and guide you that it CAN be done! But, for that we need to tell you what cardiovascular disease is all about.

Cardiac Arrest: A problem that is concerned with the electrical system of the heart

  1. It happens due to organ’s malfunctioning where the heart muscles suddenly stop beating.

  2. The heart’s electrical system triggers a cardiac arrest, thereby causing irregular heartbeat and even the pumping action of the heart can come to a complete end.

  3. If someone fails to get immediate treatment after a cardiac arrest, he or she may die in just a matter of minutes as the supply of oxygen to the various parts of the body,including the brain is disrupted with the heart unable to pump blood thereby causing cellular death.

  4. Symptoms such as absence of breath, gasping and unresponsiveness is caused by cardiac arrest.

  5. Some factors such as gender, age, family history, coronary heart disease, history of arrhythmias, heart disease, smoking and drug or alcohol abuse may cause risk of cardiac arrest.

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Heart Attack: A problem where blood is not properly supplied to the heart

  1. It happens due to the restriction of blood flow, in which more than one area of heart does not get oxygen.
  2. The artery is an organ, whose primary purpose is to pump blood throughout the body, if it stops there are more chances of a person leading to heart attack.
  3. Plaque and cholesterol are build up on the inner arterial wall that causes the blockage, apart from this, the other reasons such as blood clot makes its way to blood vessel which supply blood to the heart and might cause heart attacks.
  4. Someone suffering from heart attack should be treated immediately; if the treatment is delayed it may cause severe damage that may also lead to death
  5. Symptoms such as pressure, squeezing sensation in the chest, tightness, pain that radiates to the shoulders and arms, jaw and upper back, shortness of breath, anxiety, cold sweats etc. can cause heart attacks. Few women who suffer from a heart attack may deal with only few of the symptoms or else she might not have any of these.
  6. The heart usually does not stop beating during heart attack unlike in a cardiac attack.
  7. Age, gender, family history, high blood pressure, obesity, stress, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are some of the risk factors.

Stroke: A problem which interrupts or severely reduces blood supply to the brain

  1. It happens because of cessation or severe reduction of the flow of blood to the vital organ due to which a part of the brain fails to get oxygen.
  2. A blood clot that has made its way to one of the blood vessels found in the brain usually causes a stroke. Blood supply is cut off, when it gets lodged, there is one other factor known as hemorrhagic stroke, in which the blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain gets burst off.
  3. Individual, suffering from a stroke can be saved if treated immediately considering as a medical emergency, this may also prevent complications such as paralysis or weakness of one side of the body.
  4. Loss of coordination, sudden headache which is severe and occurs without any particular reason, confusion, trouble with speaking, dizziness and numbness or weakness of the face or one side of the body are some of the symptoms of a stroke.
  5. Some of the factors such as gender, race, family history, prior stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, alcoholism, smoking, blood disorders etc.can cause a stroke.

Measures to prevent cardiovascular diseases:

  1. Be physically active and maintain a healthy body weight. The first and the foremost step one should take is to be physically active as much as possible. Try for atleast 30 minutes of moderate exercises, like brisk walking, yoga, etc. Physical activity helps you in controlling your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other health hazards that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

  2. Eat Proper Diet Diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect your heart. Foods that can reduce your risk of heart disease are beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish. Try to completely avoid trans fat from your diet. Major sources of saturated fat include Coconut and palm oils, dairy products, red meat. Sources of trans fat include bakery products, deep-fried foods, bakery products, packaged foods. Adults should reduce the intake of salt by a considerable measure, like, maximum of 5 g of salt a day. Even a modest reduction can make a huge difference.

  3. Quit Smoking and reduce the intake of Alcohol Smoking doubles your risk of developing heart disease. The chemicals in tobacco get into the bloodstream from the lungs. They damage the blood vessels ,i.e., the arteries and other parts of the body. The risk of having a stroke, and developing other diseases such as lung cancer also increases. When it comes to alcohol ,drinking a small or moderate amount probably reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases .

  4. Maintain a healthy blood pressure High blood pressure, called hypertension, is known as “the silent killer”. The higher your blood pressure (BP) the greater your risk.

  5. Reduce stress Stress contributes to cardiovascular disease .There are plenty of healthy habits, that help reduce stress, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, striving for a good marriage, laughing, volunteering or attending motivational gatherings . Also, trying to avoid people and situations who make you anxious or angry, helps to a large extent.

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