Myocardial Infarction: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention Tips

2023-04-16 08:00:00

The main symptom of myocardial infarction is excruciating chest pain. Photo = Pixa Bay

[서울와이어 이재형 기자] There is a disease whose incidence increases as the daily temperature difference increases. It is a ‘myocardial infarction’ that often appears in middle-aged men. Myocardial infarction is a disease in which the coronary artery, a blood vessel that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the heart, is suddenly blocked and necrosis occurs in a part of the heart.

While the incidence rate has increased over the past five years, the proportion of male patients has reached 77.5%. In addition, patients in their 60s account for more than 30%. In response, along with professor Park Hyeon-woo of the Department of Cardiology at Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, we looked into myocardial infarction, which we need to be especially careful of these days, when the daily temperature difference is large.

The main symptom of myocardial infarction is excruciating chest pain. Symptoms such as stuffiness in the upper abdomen, uncomfortable symptoms, and difficulty breathing may appear, but care is needed as it may be mistaken for a digestive disease. If you suddenly collapse after complaining of chest pain, a life-threatening arrhythmia may pass and your blood pressure may drop, resulting in cardiac arrest.

Professor Park diagnosed, “The reason why the number of patients with myocardial infarction is increasing in Korea is because the number of atherosclerosis that causes myocardial infarction has increased.” Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease in which the inside of a blood vessel is damaged and a blood clot occurs acutely.

“The mortality rate due to myocardial infarction is known to be about 30%, but the mortality rate after arriving at the hospital is reported to be 5 to 10%,” he said. We need to be aware of this and take action quickly if symptoms of suspected myocardial infarction occur,” he emphasized.

If you come to the emergency room with myocardial infarction, the first thing you do is conduct an electrocardiogram and a blood test. If the patient’s symptoms and electrocardiogram show that the blood vessels are completely blocked, coronary angiography is performed to diagnose.

If myocardial infarction is diagnosed, coronary artery intervention using a stent opens the clogged blood vessels. Then, antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and anticoagulants such as heparin are used to remove the blood clot.

In addition, hyperlipidemia drugs such as statins are prescribed together to reduce or slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. After a myocardial infarction, the heart shape is deformed around the infarcted area, and at this time, blood pressure medication is used to improve the prognosis. If you have a family history, it is helpful to take hyperlipidemia medication in consultation with a specialist.

To prevent myocardial infarction, risk factors that cause atherosclerosis, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and smoking, must be carefully managed. In particular, smoking is fatal to blood vessel health, so quitting smoking is the most important.

It is good to eat a low-salt diet and vegan, and 30 to 40 minutes of aerobic exercise every day is helpful. Stress can also cause atherosclerosis, so stress control is also necessary.

Professor Park said, “Myocardial infarction is a disease that can sufficiently reduce the incidence,” and advised, “It is necessary to find risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia through health checkups and manage them early.”

“One out of 10 patients who visit the emergency room with chest pain has a myocardial infarction,” he added.

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