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Learn the Key Differences Between Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest and Stroke

It is important to know the differences between these serious matters. Apart from knowing what they are, also being aware of the risk factors, it can help lower the risk of suffering from any of them.

1. Cardiac arrest: a problem concerning the electrical system of the heart

– This happens because of the organ’s malfunctioning, so the heart muscles all of a sudden stop beating.

– It is caused by the heart’s electrical system that has gone out of control, causing irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and even complete stopping of the heart.

– Signs of cardiac arrest are: absence of breath, gasping and unresponsiveness.

– Risk factors are: gender, age, family history, history of arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, alcohol/drug abuse and smoking.

2. Heart attack: a problem with the supply of blood to the heart itself

– This happens due to the restriction of blood flow, when one or more regions of the heart are not able to get oxygen.

– It is caused by the blockage of an artery that gives blood to the organ responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. This blockage can be caused by cholesterol and plaque buildup, or a blood clot.

– Symptoms of a heart attack are: squeezing, pressure or tightness sensation in the chest, pain that spreads out to the shoulders, arms, jaw and upper back, cold sweats, shortness of breath, anxiety and nausea. Some women, suffering from this, may experience milder symptoms or even none at all.

– Risk factors are: gender, age, family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, obesity, poor diet and an inactive lifestyle.

3. Stroke: a problem concerning the interruption or severe reduction of blood supply to the brain

– This happens due to the severe or cessation reduction of the blood flow to the vital organs, when part of the brain is not able to get the needed oxygen.

– It is usually caused by a blood clot, which has made its way to the blood vessels in the brain. And when it enters, blood supply is cut off.

Symptoms of a stroke are: severe headache without any triggering factor, loss of coordination, dizziness, trouble with speaking, confusion, weakness or numbness of one side of the body or the face.

– Risk factors are: gender, age, family history, race, diabetes, prior stroke or TIA (temporary ischemic attack), high blood pressure, alcoholism, smoking, blood disorders and obesity.

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