What Are The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Atherosclerotic Disease On Pdf
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Atherosclerosis is a disease in which the wall of the artery develops abnormalities, called lesions.
- Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Atherosclerosis : symptoms, complications and management
Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms
The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina also called angina pectoris. Angina is often referred to as chest pain. It is also described as chest discomfort, heaviness, tightness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness, or squeezing.
It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina is usually felt in the chest, but may also be felt in the left shoulder, arms, neck, back or jaw. These symptoms could be the signs of a heart attack also called myocardial infarction or MI and immediate treatment is essential. Studies show that women's symptoms are less likely identified as heart disease related. The symptoms of coronary artery disease and heart attack can be different for women than they are in men.
Women are also less likely to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and seek treatment. By learning and recognizing the symptoms, women can become assertive in their treatment. The most common symptoms of heart disease in women are:. On average, symptoms of heart disease appear 10 years later in women than men.
Women tend to have heart attacks 10 years later than men do. In addition, women often report their symptoms before having a heart attack, although the symptoms are not typical "heart" symptoms. In a multi-center study of women who had an acute myocardial infarction MI , the most frequently reported symptoms were unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety. A type of angina brought on by an imbalance between the heart's need for oxygen-rich blood and the amount available.
Stable angina is a warning sign of heart disease and should be evaluated by a doctor. If the pattern of angina changes, it may progress to unstable angina. This type of angina is considered an acute coronary syndrome. It may be a new symptom or a change from stable angina. The angina may occur more frequently, occur more easily at rest, feel more severe, or last longer.
Although this angina can often be relieved with oral medications, it is unstable and may progress to a full-blown heart attack. Usually more intense medical treatment or a procedure is required. Unstable angina is an acute coronary syndrome and should be treated as an emergency. A coronary artery can go into spasm, disrupting blood flow to the heart muscle ischemia. It can occur in people without significant coronary artery disease.
However, two thirds of people with variant angina have severe disease in at least one vessel, and the spasm occurs at the site of blockage. This type of angina is not common and almost always occurs when a person is at rest. You are at increased risk for coronary spasm if you have: underlying coronary artery disease, smoke, or use stimulants or illicit drugs such as cocaine.
If a coronary artery spasm is severe and occurs for a long period of time, a heart attack can occur. Angina is a warning symptom of heart disease — but it is not a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack also called myocardial infarction or "MI" are similar to angina. There are many causes of chest pain. The one that doctors worry about the most is cardiac because it has the potential to be life-threatening.
Non-invasive tests to diagnose coronary artery disease are not all perfect in picking up reduced blood flow to the heart in all people; especially in those with increased body mass index or special populations. Therefore, if you have symptoms of coronary disease but have been told they are not cardiac in nature, you may want to get a second opinion at a center with experience in diagnostic testing. Once coronary disease is truly ruled out the work-up can proceed at a more leisurely pace.
As you can see the list of potential causes in long and may take a little bit of time to determine the precise cause. A good internal medicine doctor or cardiologist can work through the potential causes of your symptoms. Advances in technology over the past decade or so have dramatically lowered the death rate from acute heart attacks myocardial infarction, or MI.
Many more patients who survive their heart attacks do so with chronically damaged hearts. When an acute MI occurs, there is a limited amount of time before significant and long-lasting damage is done to the muscle of your heart. If a large area of the heart is injured during the heart attack, full recovery becomes much more difficult.
To obtain the greatest benefits of emergency care, anyone who thinks they are having a heart attack should get to the hospital within one hour of the onset of symptoms. The sooner you get to the emergency room, the sooner the appropriate treatment can begin, meaning the lesser the chances of permanent damage.
Sadly, only one in five patients actually gets to the hospital within this time frame. Therefore, many people who survive the MI are unnecessarily left with large portions of the heart scarred by the heart attack.
Such patients may experience lifelong problems such as shortness of breath and angina chest discomfort. Patients are also at an increased risk of developing heart failure, in which the heart weakens progressively over time.
Calling is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services EMS staff can begin treatment when they reach you. And they are trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Nitroglycerin is the most common vasodilator used for acute cases of angina. It works to dilate or widen the coronary arteries, increasing blood flow to the heart muscle and to relax the veins, lessening the amount of blood that returns to the heart from the body.
This combination of effects decreases the amount of work for the heart. Nitroglycerin comes in tablet or spray form. If you have angina, it is important that you keep this medication with you at all times. If you have been prescribed nitroglycerin and experience angina, stop what you are doing and rest.
Take one nitroglycerin tablet and let it dissolve under your tongue, or if using the spray form, spray it under your tongue. Wait 5 minutes. If you still have angina after 5 minutes, call to get emergency help.
For patients diagnosed with chronic stable angina: If you experience angina, take one nitroglycerin tablet and let it dissolve under your tongue. Use of Aspirin with unstable chest pain: After you call , if you do not have a history of aspirin allergy or bleeding, emergency personnel may advise that you chew one full mg aspirin slowly.
It's especially effective if taken within 30 minutes of the onset of symptoms. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. In many cases, the emergency personnel can begin to give you heart-saving care right away. The image we get from TV and movies is that a heart attack is a dramatic, chest-clutching event, yet this is rarely the case. Arm pain may signal a heart attack.
Or shortness of breath. Or even an awareness of sweating. Some people mistake heart attack symptoms for heartburn, take an antacid and wait for it to work. Many people will call for someone else, but not for themselves. Many people feel they will be embarrassed if they call and they are not in fact having a heart attack.
Share this information with your family members and caregivers so they can recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and when to seek emergency treatment. Doctors vary in quality due to differences in training and experience; hospitals differ in the number of services available.
The more complex your medical problem, the greater these differences in quality become and the more they matter. Clearly, the doctor and hospital that you choose for complex, specialized medical care will have a direct impact on how well you do.
Choosing a doctor to treat your coronary artery disease depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. Click on the following links to learn more about Sections and Departments that treat patients with Coronary Artery Disease:. We would be happy to help you. Diagnostic tests are used to diagnose coronary artery disease and the most effective treatment method.
Our webchats and video chats give patients and visitors another opportunity to ask questions and interact with our physicians. The inclusion of links to other websites does not imply any endorsement of the material on those websites nor any association with their operators. Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Coronary Artery Disease Symptoms. Appointments Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Sweating or "cold sweat" Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling may feel like "heartburn" Nausea or vomiting Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety Rapid or irregular heart beats Shaded areas show where you may have symptoms Symptoms of coronary artery disease in women: Studies show that women's symptoms are less likely identified as heart disease related.
The most common symptoms of heart disease in women are: Pain or pressure over the chest that travels to the arm or jaw A burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen Shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, fatigue and nausea. More information on heart attack in women. Types of Angina Stable angina A type of angina brought on by an imbalance between the heart's need for oxygen-rich blood and the amount available.
Unstable angina This type of angina is considered an acute coronary syndrome. Variant angina also called Prinzmetal's angina or coronary spasm A coronary artery can go into spasm, disrupting blood flow to the heart muscle ischemia. What's the difference between angina and a heart attack? Angina Is brought on by a brief period of poor blood supply to the heart muscle. Does not cause permanent damage to the heart.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. As you get older, fats, cholesterol, and calcium can collect in your arteries and form plaque. The buildup of plaque makes it difficult for blood to flow through your arteries. This buildup may occur in any artery in your body, including your heart, legs, and kidneys. It can result in a shortage of blood and oxygen in various tissues of your body. Pieces of plaque can also break off, causing a blood clot.
It probably started in childhood: Healthy, clear arteries that transported oxygen-rich blood to the heart and organs slowly started to harden. The American Heart Association explains that while some hardening is normal in healthy individuals, when plaque builds up along artery walls — a type of heart disease called atherosclerosis — blood flow to key organs may eventually become restricted. This can lead to severe health events such as heart attack and stroke. Plaque, which is made up of fat, cholesterol and other substances, narrows the arteries and makes blood clots more likely to form. It can lead to a partial or complete blockage of an artery.
Atherosclerosis : symptoms, complications and management
The most common symptom of coronary artery disease is angina also called angina pectoris. Angina is often referred to as chest pain. It is also described as chest discomfort, heaviness, tightness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness, or squeezing. It can be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. Angina is usually felt in the chest, but may also be felt in the left shoulder, arms, neck, back or jaw.
Every organ and tissue in the body needs a supply of fresh, oxygen-rich blood. That blood is delivered to all parts of the body through blood vessels called arteries. A healthy artery is like a clean pipe: It has a smooth lining and is free of blockages that interfere with blood flow. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol-filled deposits called plaque on the inner walls of arteries. Plaque narrows the vessels and slows down blood flow.
Atherosclerosis happens when arteries become narrow and hard due to a buildup of plaque around the artery wall. Other terms for the condition include arteriosclerosis and hardening of the arteries. The plaque that is the cause of atherosclerosis consists of cholesterol, calcium, fat, and other substances, and it can harder over time.