What exactly heart attacks?



What are heart attacks?

Heart attacks occur when blood cannot flow to the heart due to a blocked artery.

  • In Singapore, heart attack is the 2nd most common cause of death

  • Despite treatment, there is still a 10% mortality rate in patients with heart attack

  • Men are 3 – 5 times more likely than women to have coronary heart disease

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in Singapore

What are some common risk factors of heart attack?

  • High blood cholesterol

  • High blood pressure (high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease)

  • Diabetes mellitus (people with diabetes are 2 – 4 times more likely to develop coronary artery disease)

  • Obesity

  • Smoking (smokers have 2 – 3 times the risk of non-smokers for sudden cardiac death)

  • Stress

  • Age (on average, 80% of those who die of coronary heart disease are aged 65 and above)

How does it feel like to have a heart attack?

  • Mild pain or discomfort in your chest that may come and go – also called ‘stuttering’ chest pain

  • Pain in your upper back, shoulders, neck

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Lightheadedness or fainting

  • Breathlessness

  • Feeling of ‘impending doom’

  • Severe anxiety or confusion

How do heart attack signs differ in men and women?