According to research data, India has seen more than 25,000 heart attack-related deaths in the last four years and over 28,000 in the previous three years.
The term ‘heart disease’ itself might be scary, but there are many misconceptions surrounding the term and it’s easy to be misled. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, causing 17.9 million deaths each year. Even after a heart problem is diagnosed, your health can improve with the right information and prompt treatment at the right time to dispel heart attack myths.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the prevailing myths in order to prevent unjustified panic on the one hand, and to detect and treat heart diseases in time on the other. Relying on wrong assumptions and believing in myths can be harmful to your heart, so everyone should be aware of the right information.
Let’s look at some of the most common heart attack myths.
10 Common Myths About Heart Attacks
Myth 1: I’m too young to have heart disease
Your chances of developing cardiovascular problems later in life will depend on your current life decisions. Plaque can begin to accumulate in the arteries as early as childhood and adolescence, which eventually results in clogging of the arteries. Heart problems can affect anyone, even those who are young or middle-aged, especially since risk factors including obesity, type 2 diabetesand other conditions are increasingly present in children and teenagers.
Avoiding processed or packaged meals, foods high in saturated fat or sweets, and getting at least an hour of physical activity each day can help.
Myth 2: My genes predispose me to heart disease, so there’s nothing I can do to avoid it
You are at greater risk if your family history is known. But if you are aware of it, you can take certain precautions to reduce the dangers. Exercise, eat well, keep your weight under control, stop smoking and watch your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Myth 3: Heart disease is a problem for men, not women
For women, cardiovascular disease remains the dominant cause of death. The risk of CVD in women increases after the age of 60. After menopause, the risk is usually fairly evenly distributed among women. Women may experience a variety of symptoms, including abdominal discomfort, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, acute exhaustion, back pain, and a very fast heart rate.
Myth 4: Chest pain is the only sign of a heart attack
Chest pain is the most common sign of a heart attack, but it is not the primary symptom. In fact, many people experience heart attacks without any chest discomfort or pain.
Shortness of breath, heartburn, upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, back pain, jaw pain, dizziness and excessive exhaustion are other symptoms to look out for. Most heart attacks in men, unlike women, are silent heart attacks, also known as silent myocardial infarction.
Myth 6: A person with heart disease should avoid exercise
This is pure myth. Exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body and helps the heart muscle to strengthen.
Guidelines for exercise in people with cardiovascular disease have been published by the European Society of Cardiology, which state that exercise is very unlikely to cause a heart attack or arrest. People who are completely sedentary and those who have severe heart disease should talk to their doctors before engaging in athletics or high-intensity exercise.
Myth 7: Vitamins can prevent heart disease
There is no evidence that taking vitamin supplements will reduce the risk of heart disease, despite the fact that most vitamins, when taken in prescribed amounts, are unlikely to be harmful to heart health. Furthermore, they cannot replace a balanced diet and frequent exercise.
Myth 8: Sufficient good cholesterol can neutralize bad cholesterol
It was often believed that lots of good cholesterol would moderate the effects of lots of bad cholesterol, but recent research has disproved this.
Doctors are increasingly focusing on LDL cholesterol rather than total cholesterol, which includes your ‘good’ high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
High HDL levels are undoubtedly beneficial, but they also indicate that your body may still be depositing cholesterol in your arteries, which can result in heart attacks, strokes and other problems.
Myth 9: Leg pain has nothing to do with heart disease
People often assume that leg discomfort is a sign of aging, but it can actually be caused by a blocked artery in the leg, putting the patient at greater risk of a heart attack.
Myth 10: Diabetes will not affect the heart if a person takes antidiabetic drugs
Risk factors for diabetes and heart disease include hypertension, obesity, smoking, etc. So, even if blood sugar levels are under control, the risk of heart disease still exists.
Heart disease is a significant problem that requires appropriate medical care. Don’t let false assumptions and myths about you or your age keep you from taking care of your heart health.
Although widespread, heart disease is not inevitable. Regardless of our age, we can all make lifestyle changes to reduce our chances of cardiovascular problems.
Feel free to talk to our expert cardiologist if you have any symptoms of heart disease for a long time. Now is the time to schedule your consultation and heart exam.
FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Q. What are 2 random facts about heart disease?
- Your heart will beat about 115,000 times every day.
- Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
Q. What are the 4 most common heart diseases?
- Heart attack
- Peripheral artery disease
Q. What is one known fact about the heart?
The average heart is about the size of an adult’s fist.
Q. What is the #1 cause of heart disease?
High blood pressure and high cholesterol
Q. Who suffers more from heart attacks?
CVD is most common in people over 50 and your risk of developing it increases relatively as you age.
Written by: Anjali Sharma
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