What you need to know about heart attacks as we wrap up Heart Health Month

(WXYZ) – As we wrap up Heart Health Month, we wanted to look at heart attack risk.

Here in America, the number of heart attacks is low compared to years ago, but what is increasing is the number of young people under 40, including those in their 20s and 30s, who are landing now in hospital with a heart problem. offensive.

Women are more likely than men to have heart attacks that are not caused by coronary artery disease. And what we do in the face of this danger, however silent, can be a matter of life and death.

Kari West is an active mother who works in the health field. Her son is in the military, her husband survived open-heart surgery, and she knows his family history.

“My father died of a heart attack at 58. My mother had a pacemaker at 55,” she says.

But Kari, a health-conscious adult, does not have a serious heart problem. Although she was diagnosed with hypertension at 45. A coronary calcium screening for over a year has been a beauty.

“My score was zero, which means I had no blockages,” West said.

Her blood work was perfect and she had no problems with her cholesterol. The last words of his doctor/

“You’re going to be great for ten years, we won’t even have to do that test again,” West said of his doctor’s advice.

Yet just four days later, West fell asleep and woke up four hours later vomiting.

“I woke up violently sick, thought I had food poisoning,” West said.

She passed out and woke up with severe pain in her chest – like she was being squeezed in a vice.

“I’m like, call 911, I think I’m having a heart attack,” West said.

Within minutes, an ambulance brought her to the emergency room of DMC’s Huron Valley Hospital.

“My biggest fear was dying,” West said. “That was scary, sorry.”

With her pain on a scale of 1 to 10 to 12, the main artery that supplies oxygen and blood to her entire body, including her lungs, was 100% blocked.

“I had a blood clot that totally blocked my artery which just ruptured with no warning out of nowhere,” West said.

Her doctor told her, “You are a lucky woman. We were five minutes away from losing you.

Dr. Feras Aloka, director of DMC Sinai Grace and the Huron Valley Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, worked on Kari.

“She’s not a typical patient who should have a heart attack. She was leading a healthy life,” said Dr. Feras Aloka.

Dr. Aloka says time and place are key.

“It can be very deadly, especially if you’re not in an emergency department or somewhere where they’re getting CPR defibrillation to shock the heart,” Aloka said. “And the age of heart attack patients.”

“I don’t think anyone is too young for a heart attack,” he added.

“So don’t ignore your symptoms, chest pain, sweating, pain that goes to your jaw, numbness in your left arm,” Aloka said.

Also get tested for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Women, most of the time, do not have typical symptoms. Sometimes it is shoulder or back pain in women.

“Why do you see it in younger patients? asked Carolyn Clifford.

“We lead an unhealthy life. Young people will vape, not enough exercise and too much fast food.”

For Kari, her whole family has changed their eating habits, exercised more and are not ignoring the warning signs.

“I really am a miracle. I had a widow’s heart attack that people usually die in their sleep and don’t wake up from, I’m blessed and lucky,” West said.

Dr. Aloka gives his entire team credit for saving Kari’s life, saying they get up and leave their families in the middle of the night to save others. Her final message is to listen to your body and not ignore your symptoms.

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