Arizona College of Nursing Highlights Unseen Signs of Heart Disease in Local Community


Originally published by NewsBreak on February 22, 2024.

Dr. Sheba Price, from the Arizona College of Nursing, has written an article on the importance of recognizing signs of heart disease. She stresses that heart health involves more than just preventing heart attacks. It also includes understanding and addressing other heart diseases, such as atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease (CAD), and myocardial infarction.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition where the upper part of the heart muscle quivers instead of contracting, causing an irregular or fast heartbeat. This condition can affect people of all ages and, if untreated, can lead to blood clots, organ damage, stroke, heart failure, and death. Symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness, and a decreased ability to exercise. Dr. Price notes that men are more likely to show symptoms.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) involves reduced blood flow to the heart muscle due to plaque buildup in the arteries. It is the most common heart disease and can cause a heart attack if not diagnosed and treated. Lifestyle changes can help prevent CAD, and high blood pressure and cholesterol are potential indicators. Symptoms can include chest pain, fatigue, and sweating. Women, especially younger ones, may also experience back pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Myocardial infarction, or heart attacks, happen when blood flow to the heart muscle decreases or stops, usually due to fat or cholesterol buildup. Men are more likely to have a heart attack, but women have a higher mortality rate, often because they don’t recognize early heart disease symptoms. Symptoms can include chest, arm, and jaw pain, which can range from dull to severe. Women may also experience nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, fatigue, sleepiness, anxiety, and abdominal pain.

Dr. Price concludes by stressing that heart attacks usually have warning signs. Recognizing and addressing these signs can greatly improve heart health. She urges everyone to understand the different types of heart diseases and their symptoms.

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