Our body is a factory that works tirelessly. When something does not work well in the body, it shows warning signs. Signals must never be taken lightly. Unlike the common cold or other illnesses, heart attacks can be difficult to detect. However, a team of researchers have discovered that it is possible to predict a heart attack months in advance!
Heart attack: causes and warning signs
Heart attack or myocardial infarction is the leading cause of death worldwide, according to WHO. In US, more than 610 000 people die from this disease each year.
Myocardial infarction refers to the death of part of the heart muscle due to a blockage of blood flow to the heart. This interruption of blood flow is the result of the blockage of a coronary artery, caused by blood clots or plaque (fat accumulation) on the walls.
This cardiovascular disease mainly affects men over 50 and women between 65 and 70 years. However, younger people can be also have a heart attack. Factors related to this issue are:
- Overweight or obesity
- Genetic predisposition
Symptoms of heart attack
Myocardial infarction is usually manifested by severe chest pain and tightness in the chest. This can extend to the arms, shoulders, jaw, neck or back. Other signs may also accompany the main symptom that is good to know:
- Nausea and vomiting
These signs may indicate a heart attack and should not be taken lightly. If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately call for help.
Moreover, scientific studies have demonstrated that it is possible to detect a heart attack in advance, from the hair!
How to recognize a heart attack from the hair?
A study by Canadian scientists, says that myocardial infarction can be detected several months in advance, from the hair. Hair is sensitive to chronic stress, a factor that undoubtedly contributes to the risk of heart attacks.
The scientists, who studied the effect of chronic stress (work or financial and marital problems …) on our health, have discovered for the first time a biomarker that can predict a heart attack months in advance by evaluating the rate of the hormone stress (cortisol) in the hair.
These Western University researchers have studied hair samples from 56 men who have suffered heart attacks, they compared the hair to men who have never suffered from this cardiovascular problem, but had other health disorders.
The result of the study showed that the men’s hair affected by a heart attack contained high levels of cortisol.
Normally, cortisol level is measured in blood, urine or saliva, but these analyzes show the stress rate in the last hours or days and do not allow the doctors to know the effect of stress over a long period unlike the hair that grows each month. Thus, a 6 inch lock of hair can help the doctors to know the stress level for several months.
Remember, the study has been conducted on men. Further scientific research including women should be carried out to better understand the subject.
How to prevent a heart attack?
It is possible to reduce the risk of heart attack by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
It is very important to have a balanced diet to maintain the overall health. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats and whole grains and avoid fatty, sugary and processed foods.
Alcohol and tobacco should also be avoided.
Include a little workout in your daily schedule to control your weight, keep your heart healthy and prevent many diseases such as overweight, diabetes, etc.
It is also necessary to control the blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, factors involved in the occurrence of heart attacks.