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Acute Myocardial Infarction: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Preventive Diagnosis

Posted on 28-07-2017

The primary cause of death in the world among humans is Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) – heart attack, before cancer and accidents (vehicular). Mexico is no exception to that. In our country we are at the top of the list in terms of risk factor for AMI: obesity and excess weight, smoking, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol and lipid levels in blood), among others. Monitoring these risk factors reduces the chances of suffering AMI.

Acute Myocardial Infarction is a blocking of the blood flow in one of the heart’s arteries causing necrosis, or death of the tissue the blood flow does not reach – i.e. death of part of the myocardium, the heart muscle – the heart.

Although men are at greater risk of acute myocardial infarction than women (78%) - AMI is most common in men between 45 and 55 years of age. However, we are seeing this disease more and more among young men (from 20 years on).

According to Dr. Daniel Rodriguez, cardiologist at Hospiten Los Cabos, the most common symptoms of AMI are: crushing chest pain (spreading out towards the left arm or even neck), nausea, vomiting, sweating and a feeling of imminent death. Other symptoms, in people suffering from diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and being overweight are: fainting, being out of breath and palpitations without having done physical exercise.

Prevention is the cornerstone in preventing this catastrophic disease, like changing habits, lifestyle, with the support of a cardiologist and nutritionist, laboratory tests (blood chemistry and monitoring lipid values twice a year from 40 years of age on) and stress tests.

A stress test is a cardiovascular diagnostic test in which the person is submitted to some form of physical exercise, like walking on a treadmill, while electrocardiogram checks are carried out. Dr. Rodriguez points out that “the aim is to see what the risk is of suffering a heart attack in the next 12 months”. The stress test and other diagnostic tests are available at the Hospiten Cabo San Lucas and Hospiten San Jose del Cabo Cardiology Service.