Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for a variety of different heart related health conditions affecting the heart muscle and it is one of the biggest killers of men and women in the developed world. Men are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as women, but unfortunately, men are far less likely to seek treatment when they begin to experience health problems, so if you are concerned about your own health or that of a partner, it is important to be aware of the heart problem symptoms in men.
Chest pain is the most obvious sign that something is wrong. In the movies, heart attacks are portrayed as a sudden event resulting in severe pain and lots of agonizing clutching of the chest, shortly followed by the character collapsing on the floor.
In real life, a heart attack is not always so dramatic and in many cases the patient will feel uncomfortable and suffer only mild bouts of pain that come and go. This pain is often described as a tight squeezing, almost like a clamp around the chest area. However, any pain in the chest area is suspect, particularly if there are other symptoms, so never ignore the discomfort as early medical intervention could make the difference between life and death.
What are the heart problem symptoms in men?
Symptoms of heart problems that precede a full blown heart attack include:
- Chest pain brought on by exercise, but which goes away with rest
- Stress related chest pain
- Unexpected shortness of breath with exertion
- Unexplained indigestion
In the event of a heart attack, pain will be more severe and will last for longer than a few minutes. It will also be accompanied by other symptoms. When experiencing a heart attack, many patients feel pain not just in the chest region, but all over the upper body. Pain can travel down nerve pathways and cause discomfort in the jaw, neck, arms, back and stomach. Shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness and nausea are all symptoms of heart problems, so if you or somebody you know is showing any of these symptoms, call for medical assistance immediately.
In some cases, the symptoms of heart problems can feel very much like other less serious health problems such as indigestion. Many patients delay in seeking help because although they know something is wrong, they are not sure it is serious enough to be a real life heart attack, but this is always a mistake as the first hour is the most crucial in terms of treatment. Delay any longer and the chances of recovery are far slimmer.
What causes heart problems?
Although cardiovascular disease can cover a variety of different conditions including congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, heart valve disease, and pericardial disease, coronary heart disease is the major cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Coronary heart disease is often caused by a number of unhealthy lifestyle factors, namely high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. As a result, once coronary heart disease has been diagnosed, a patient will be advised to change to a low fat diet, take more exercise, stop smoking and generally improve their general health and well being.