Mengenal Penyakit Jantung

Penyakit jantung merupakan pembunuh yang utama di negara ini, dan juga di negara-negara lain. Terdapat pelbagai jenis penyakit yang berkaitan dengan jantung, dari peringkat awal dikesan hingga ke tahap kritikal yang membawa kematian.

Berikut adalah penerangan asas tentang pelbagai penyakit jantung yang biasa terjadi di kalangan kita, bertujuan untuk menambah pengetahuan dan kesedaran tentang penyakit yang bahaya ini. Faktor penyebab sakit jantung, tanda atau simptom penyakit jantung, ujian untuk mengetahui tahap sakit jantung, dan rawatan serta langkah berjaga-jaga juga diterangkan. Dengan adanya pengetahuan dan kesedaran ini, setiap orang bolehlah mengambil langkah-langkah drastik (jika perlu) untuk mengelakkan penyakit jantung (jika belum terkena) atau merawatnya supaya pulih atau sekurang-kurangnya tidak bertambah teruk.

Heart Disease

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on September 01, 2010

What Is Heart Disease?

Bring up heart disease, and most people think of a heart attack. But there are many conditions that can undermine the heart’s ability to do its job. These include coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, and heart failure. Keep reading to find out what these disorders do to the body and how to recognize the warning signs.

What Is a Heart Attack?

Every year, more than 1 million Americans have a heart attack – a sudden interruption in the heart’s blood supply. This happens when there is a blockage in the coronary arteries, the vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle. When blood flow is blocked, heart muscle can be damaged very quickly and die. Prompt emergency treatments have reduced the number of deaths from heart attacks in recent years.

Heart Attack Symptoms

A heart attack is an emergency even when symptoms are mild. Warning signs include:

* Pain or pressure in the chest.
* Discomfort spreading to the back, jaw, throat, or arm.
* Nausea, indigestion, or heartburn.
* Weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath.
* Rapid or irregular heartbeats.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Women don’t always feel chest pain with a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to have heartburn, loss of appetite, tiredness or weakness, coughing, and heart flutters. These symptoms should not be ignored. The longer you postpone treatment, the more damage the heart may sustain.

Signs of Coronary Artery Disease

A precursor to a heart attack, coronary artery disease or CAD occurs when sticky plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. This narrows the arteries, making it more difficult for blood to flow through. Many people don’t know they have CAD until a heart attack strikes. But there are warning signs, such as recurring chest pain caused by the restricted blood flow. This pain is known as angina.

Inside a Heart Attack

The plaque deposited in your arteries is hard on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside. Sometimes the hard outer shell cracks. When this happens, a blood clot forms around the plaque. If the clot completely blocks the artery, it cuts off the blood supply to a portion of the heart. Without immediate treatment, that part of the heart muscle could be damaged or destroyed.

Don’t Wait to Be Sure

The best time to treat a heart attack is as soon as symptoms begin. Waiting to be sure can result in permanent heart damage or even death. If you think you may be having a heart attack, call 911. And don’t try driving yourself to the hospital. When you call 911, the EMS staff can start emergency care as soon as they reach you.

Sudden Cardiac Death

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) accounts for half of all heart disease deaths in the U.S., but it’s not the same as a heart attack. SCD occurs when the heart’s electrical system goes haywire, causing it to beat irregularly and dangerously fast. The heart’s pumping chambers may quiver instead of pumping blood out to the body. Without CPR and restoration of a regular heart rhythm, death can occur in minutes.

Arrhythmia: Erratic Heart Beat

Regular electrical impulses cause your heart to beat. But sometimes those impulses become erratic. The heart may race, slow down, or quiver. Arrhythmias are often harmless variations in rhythm that pass quickly. But some types make your heart less effective at pumping blood, and that can take a serious toll on the body. Let your doctor know if you’ve noticed your heart beating abnormally.


Cardiomyopathy is a disease involving changes in the heart muscle. These changes may interfere with the heart’s ability to pump effectively, which can lead to a chronic condition called heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is sometimes associated with other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart valve disease.

Heart Failure

Heart failure doesn’t mean your heart stops working. It means the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Over time, the heart gets bigger to hold more blood, it pumps faster to increase the amount of blood moving out of it, and the blood vessels narrow. The heart muscle may also weaken, reducing the blood supply even more. Most cases of heart failure are the result of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

Congenital Heart Defect

A congenital heart defect is one that’s present at birth. The problem could be a leaky heart valve, malformations in the walls that separate the heart chambers, or other heart problems. Some defects are not found until a person becomes an adult. Some need no treatment. Others require medicine or surgery. People with congenital heart defects may have a higher risk of developing complications such as arrhythmias, heart failure, and heart valve infection, but there are ways to reduce this risk.

Testing: Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An EKG (also ECG) is a painless test that uses electrodes placed on the skin to record the heart’s electrical activity. The test provides information about your heart rhythm and damage to the heart muscle. An EKG can help your doctor diagnose a heart attack and evaluate abnormalities such as an enlarged heart. The results can be compared to future EKGs to track changes in the condition of your heart.

Testing: Stress Test

The stress test measures how your heart responds to exertion. If you have an exercise stress test, you’ll either walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while the level of difficulty increases. At the same time, your EKG, heart rate, and blood pressure will be monitored as your heart works harder. Doctors use a stress test to evaluate whether there is an adequate supply of blood to the heart muscle.

Testing: Holter Monitor

A Holter monitor is a portable heart rhythm recorder. If your doctor suspects a heart rhythm problem, she may ask you to wear one for 1 or 2 days. It records the heart’s continuous electrical activity day and night, compared with an EKG, which is a snapshot in time. The doctor will probably also ask you to keep a log of your activities and to note any symptoms and when they occur.

Testing: Chest X-ray

A chest X-ray is a picture of your heart, lungs, and chest bones that’s made by using a very small amount radiation. Chest X-rays can be used to look for heart and lung abnormalities.

In this image, the bulge seen on the right side is an enlarged left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber.

Testing: Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses sound waves (ultrasound) to generate moving images of the heart. The test can assess the chambers and valves of your heart and how well your heart muscle and heart valves are working. It’s useful in diagnosing and evaluating several types of heart disease, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of treatments.

Testing: Cardiac CT

Cardiac computerized tomography (known as cardiac CT) takes detailed images of the heart and its blood vessels. A computer stacks the images to create a 3-D picture of heart. A cardiac CT can be used to look for plaque or calcium buildup in the coronary arteries, heart valve problems, and other types of heart disease.

Living With Heart Disease

Most forms of heart disease are chronic. In the beginning, symptoms may be too mild to affect everyday life. And in many cases, long-term treatment can keep symptoms under control. But if the heart begins to fail, patients may develop shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling in ankles, feet, legs, and abdomen. Heart failure can be managed with medication, lifestyle changes, surgery, and in certain cases, a heart transplant.

Treatment: Medicines

Medications play a huge role in treating heart disease. Some drugs help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. Others can keep abnormal heart rhythms under control or prevent clotting. For patients who already have some heart damage, there are medications to improve the pumping ability of an injured heart.

Treatment: Angioplasty

Angioplasty is used to open a blocked heart artery and improve blood flow to the heart. The doctor inserts a thin catheter with a balloon on the end into the artery. When the balloon reaches the blockage, it is expanded, opening up the artery and improving blood flow. The doctor may also insert a small mesh tube, called a stent, to help keep the artery open after angioplasty.

Treatment: Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery is another way to improve the heart’s blood flow. It gives blood a new pathway when the coronary arteries have become too narrow or blocked. During the surgery, a blood vessel is first moved from one area of the body — such as the chest, legs, or arms — and attached to the blocked artery, allowing it to bypass the blocked part.

Who’s at Risk for Heart Disease?

Men have a higher risk of having a heart attack than women, and at an earlier age. But it’s important to note that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, too. People with a family history of heart ailments also have a higher risk of heart trouble.

Risk Factors You Can Control

High cholesterol and high blood pressure are major risk factors for heart disease. Being overweight, obese, or physically inactive all increase your risk. So does diabetes, especially if your glucose levels are not well controlled. Discuss your risks with your doctor and develop a strategy for managing them. There are many steps you can take to protect your heart.

Smoking and Your Heart

If you smoke, your risk of heart disease is 2 to 4 times greater than a nonsmoker’s. And if you smoke around loved ones, you’re increasing their risk with secondhand smoke. Each year in the U.S., more than 135,000 people die from smoking-related heart disease. But it’s never too late to quit. Within 24 hours of quitting, your heart attack risk begins to fall.

Smoking and Your Heart

If you smoke, your risk of heart disease is 2 to 4 times greater than a nonsmoker’s. And if you smoke around loved ones, you’re increasing their risk with secondhand smoke. Each year in the U.S., more than 135,000 people die from smoking-related heart disease. But it’s never too late to quit. Within 24 hours of quitting, your heart attack risk begins to fall.

Heart Disease Prevention

The key to preventing heart disease is a healthy lifestyle. This includes a nutritious diet, at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, not smoking, and controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation – no more than one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men. Ask your friends and family for help in making these changes. They’ll benefit, too.

Diet and Your Heart

What you eat makes a difference. Be sure you get plenty of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits to help keep your heart healthy. Plant oils, walnuts, other nuts, and seeds can also help improve cholesterol levels. And don’t forget to eat fish at least a couple of times each week for a good source of heart-healthy protein.


Tanda serangan sakit jantung pada perempuan

Ada laporan yang menyatakan bahawa tanda serangan sakit jantung pada perempuan agak berbeza sedikit dengan tanda-tanda yang terdapat pada orang lelaki atau tanda-tanda yang biasa didengar, seperti sakit dada dan sebagainya. Oleh itu, banyak perempuan yang tidak tahu bahawa sebenarnya mereka mendapat serangan sakit jantung.

Kurang pengetahuan tentang simptom atau tanda-tanda tertentu serangan sakit jantung kepada perempuan menyebabkan rawatan segera yang patut diterima tidak berapa diambil berat, tidak seperti orang lelaki yang selalunya dikejarkan ke hospital dengan segera.

Oleh itu, orang perempuan pun perlu mengetahui tanda-tanda khas serangan sakit jantung yang biasa dialami oleh perempuan disamping tanda-tanda biasa yang lain. Sehubungan itu, dipanjangkan di bawah ini artikel tentang tanda-tanda yang dialami oleh orang perempuan apabila diserang oleh sakit jantung supaya ia boleh dijadikan panduan yang berguna…..

Her Guide to a Heart Attack: Recognizing Female Heart Attack Symptoms

By Katherine Kam
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

On a Monday morning in April, Merle Rose, a New Jersey woman, experienced what some doctors call “female heart attack symptoms;” a feeling of indigestion and extreme fatigue. Later, she had nausea, vomiting and fainting.

But she never had chest pain-a “typical” male heart attack sign. When she got to the emergency room, doctors couldn’t find any sign of heart attack and Rose says, “They would have sent me home.”

As Rose’s experience shows, many doctors-and women themselves–still don’t realize that female heart attack symptoms can look very different than those of men. In fact, according to a study of women’s early heart attack signs published in Circulation, women have more unrecognized heart attacks than men and are more likely to be, “mistakenly diagnosed and discharged from emergency departments.”

In the emergency room, physicians had assumed she had a gastrointestinal illness. But at the time, no one told Rose that she had suffered a heart attack.

When an outside cardiologist recommended by Rose’s regular doctor ordered testing that uncovered major blockages, doctors still made no mention of heart attack, she says.

So when did she finally get word? Not until several months later, when she visited a new female cardiologist. This doctor told her in retrospect that she had suffered a textbook case of undiagnosed female heart attack.

“That’s the first I ever heard,” Rose says. “This doctor told me, ‘They didn’t connect the dots.'”

Female Heart Attack Symptoms: What are They?

These chest-related heart attack signs often appear in men, and many women get them, too:

* Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of the chest, which may spread to the neck, shoulder or jaw;

* Chest discomfort with light headacheness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath;

But many women don’t have chest pain. In the Circulation study on early female heart attack symptoms, researchers found that during a heart attack, 43% of the 515 women studied had no “acute chest pain… a ‘hallmark symptom in men,'” according to study authors.

Nevertheless, the study cited evidence that many emergency room doctors still look mainly for chest pain. Only a minority check for the other types of symptoms that women tend to develop. As a result, doctors may miss heart attacks in women.

“Although women can have chest tightness as a symptom of a heart attack, it’s also important for women to recognize that might not be their symptom,” says Nieca Goldberg, MD, a cardiologist and chief of Women’s Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of “The Women’s Healthy Heart Program.”

“Women commonly have symptoms of shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue, or pressure in the lower chest, so they easily mistake it as a stomach ailment.”

In the Circulation study, common female heart attack symptoms include:

* shortness of breath (57.9%)
* weakness (54.8%)
* unusual fatigue (42.9%)

Women also had these symptoms:

* Nausea
* Dizziness
* Lower chest discomfort
* Upper abdominal pressure or discomfort that may feel like indigestion
* Back pain

Female Heart Attack Symptoms: Warning Signs That a Heart Attack May Be Coming

In the weeks preceding an actual heart attack, some of these symptoms may even appear as early warning signs, according to the Circulation study.

Goldberg, who is familiar with the study, says, “About six weeks before the actual heart attack, women were more likely to experience shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue or stomach pain as an early warning sign that they might have a blocked artery.”

Rose was a prime candidate for a heart attack: a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Long before her heart attack, she had struggled with extreme fatigue.

“I felt like I was being rolled over by a steam engine-couldn’t make plans,” she says. Doctors put her on antidepressants. She also developed shortness of breath. “I was constantly gasping for breath.” But because of the depression diagnosis, “I thought this was an anxiety issue.”

“I did have symptoms of heart disease,” Rose says. “They just didn’t connect it and I didn’t connect it.”

If you get early warning signs, call your doctor and talk about the possibility of heart disease.

“That’s the time to come in for an evaluation,” says Goldberg.

On the day of a heart attack, these symptoms can strike without any provocation; for example, shortness of breath may come without physical activity. Symptoms can appear during rest or even awaken a woman from sleep, and they’re much worse, Goldberg says.

“They just come on and they’re severe. I had one patient describing that she was so short of breath that she could barely talk to the 911 operator.”

Women often worry about being embarrassed if they’re not having a heart attack after all, she says. But embarrassment will pass without causing long-term damage; a heart attack may not.

Calling for an ambulance is better than taking a taxi or having someone else drive you, Goldberg says. And unless you have absolutely no other option, you shouldn’t drive yourself. “You don’t want to pass out driving your car,” she says.

A big advantage to calling 911: emergency medical personnel can start treatment, such as oxygen, heart medication, and pain relievers, as soon as they arrive, says Mohamud Daya, MD, MS, an associate professor of emergency services at Oregon Health and Science University.

One more compelling reason to go by ambulance: “When you come into the emergency room with the [cardiac] monitor hooked up, you’re really taken seriously,” Goldberg says. “You look the part.”

Female Heart Attack Symptoms In the Emergency Room

When you reach the emergency room, describe your symptoms, but don’t offer your own conclusions, Goldberg says. “I wouldn’t go through this whole dissertation about how, ‘Oh, I thought it was a stomachache, I thought it was this.’ You should just tell the doctor how you feel. Don’t interpret it for them.”

If it doesn’t occur to the emergency room doctor to check for heart attack, be bold. Goldberg tells women to say outright: “I think I’m having a heart attack.” Because many doctors still don’t recognize that women’s symptoms differ, they may mistake them for arthritis, pulled muscles, indigestion, gastrointestinal problems, or even anxiety and hypochondria.

In short, female heart attack symptoms may be missed-and dismissed. When one of Goldberg’s patients entered the emergency room with such symptoms, doctors gave her antacids. “She said, ‘Listen, I’m diabetic and women’s heart disease symptoms can be different, and unless you give me an EKG, I’m not leaving this place.’ And the next day, she had a bypass.”

Of course, stomach pain could prove to be nothing more than a bad case of gastrointestinal illness. “But what I tell all my patients is, ‘It’s best to check out your heart first because a potential heart attack is life-threatening,'” Goldberg says.

And if your fear of heart problems turns out to be unfounded, don’t sweat it, she adds. Doctors would much rather diagnose you with indigestion than a heart attack.


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