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What are the common symptoms of heart attack?

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Michelle Aliprantis
What are the common symptoms of heart attack?

Dr. Shahzad Ahmed, director of Cardiovascular Medicine & Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Lower Bucks Hospital, is an interventional cardiologist whose expertise include coronary interventions, peripheral vascular disease, preventive cardiology and structural heart disease. He sees thousands of patients annually and has agreed to answer some of the common questions about coronary artery disease and heart attacks for our readers.

About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have coronary artery disease (about 6.7%). In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 605,000 are a first heart attack, 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack.

“About 1 in 5 heart attacks is silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it,” Dr. Ahmed said.

How we can control blood pressure and high cholesterol?

Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) is a well-studied approach to control blood pressure. Adding green vegetables, salads, nuts and a low-salt diet can help with heart health. Avoiding processed meat, dairy products, butter, fried foods, cheese and bakery items is helpful in prevention. Everyone over the age of 20 should have their blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol checked.

What diet do you recommend to decrease the risk of heart disease?

There are many studies looking into what are the best diets to prevent the heart disease, but the Mediterranean Diet has consistently demonstrated more benefits than any other diet plans. The Mediterranean Diet contains greens, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grain, fish, poultry and olive oil.

What do you do if you develop heart disease?

Heart disease commonly refers to the narrowing of heart arteries. If you develop blockage in your heart arteries, you should seek an opinion from a cardiologist. Many times, blockages are treated with medicine, but sometime arteries need to be opened with a small mesh called stents or by other procedures.

What is your recommendation regarding exercise?

It is well studied that exercise reduces the risk of heart and vascular disease. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. The exercise can be performed for five days for 30 minutes or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise. Exercise helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

Reference and Reading

Dr. Ahmed is board certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound and Internal Medicine. He is a Fellow of American College of Cardiology (FACC) in 2019 and a member of the Society of Cardiovascular Interventions (SCAI). He completed internal medicine, cardiovascular and interventional cardiology residency Drexel University College of Medicine, where he was awarded "Fellow of the Year.” He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Under his leadership, Lower Bucks Hospital has started many new programs, including same-day discharge after percutaneous coronary intervention and implementing the radial cardiac catheterization performed through arteries in the hand.

Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice on 501 Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 215-785-5100.