- A heart attack is a widespread condition that affects one in 1,000 individuals globally. It is one of the few terrifying experiences that you never want to face in your life. An early diagnosis to detect the presence of heart disease can prevent a heart attack. The tests to detect heart attack before its occurrence act as a rescuer and guide you to the safe path of health. Awareness of these tests can reduce the fear of this highly prevalent condition and guide you to the right course of action in case of an emergency.
Understanding a Heart Attack
- The heart muscle needs oxygen supply for its survival. When the oxygen supply to this muscle is reduced or cut off, you experience a heart attack. The coronary arteries supply blood to the muscles of the heart. When a coronary artery is narrowed or blocked due to the build-up of fat, cholesterol, or calcium, it is unable to fulfill the oxygen requirements of heart. These substances that block the artery are called plaques.
- Knowing the enemy always prepares you to face it in real time. By arming yourself with the knowledge of an existing or potential heart disease, you don’t just treat it; you can also prevent the most dreaded complication of the heart disease – a heart attack – well in time.
Tests to Diagnose the Risk of a Heart Attack
- Following are the two most important and commonly recommended tests performed by doctors that can help detect whether you are at risk of a heart attack.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): This is the primary test to detect a heart attack or the risk of a heart attack. It is only useful in individuals who have other risk factors like high blood pressure because ECG is typically done when you have any of the symptoms indicative of heart disease. The test reads the electrical activity of your heart through the electrodes attached to your skin. The test relies on the fact that the damaged heart muscle does not conduct the electrical impulses as it normally should. Hence, the ECG reveals that a heart attack either has occurred or is in progress. It may also detect heart diseases that increase the risk of a heart attack, e.g., left atrial fibrillation.
- Exercise stress test: This test is also called a treadmill test or a stress test and is an ECG performed while your body is under stress, i.e., you are walking on the treadmill. It will determine your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure. It identifies your heart health while you exercise. A ‘positive’ result in this test indicates a blockage in the artery, interfering with the blood supply to the heart, an omen of a potential heart attack in the future.
Other tests that can help in understanding heart health and aid in diagnosing a heart disease include the following:
- Chest x-ray: An x-ray takes a picture of the organs inside your chest, which include the heart, blood vessels and the lungs. It can help in the detection of the size of your heart and the presence of fluid in the lungs.
- Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is a test for individuals who are suspected to have conditions of the heart or the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. It works by recording the sound waves of the heart, which are then converted into moving images by the computer. Depending upon the type of information required about your heart and blood vessels, the type of echocardiogram will vary. There are different types of echocardiograms as listed below:
- Stress echocardiogram
- Transthoracic echocardiogram
- Doppler echocardiogram
- Transoesophageal echocardiogram
- An echocardiogram will detect any changes in the heart structure and also detect blocked or narrowed arteries that can lead to a heart attack.
- Coronary catheter angiography: In this procedure, an extremely thin plastic tube is threaded into the coronary arteries of the heart through a small incision on the skin of the wrist or the thigh. The plastic tube is guided to the heart through which a dye is injected. Next, using a CT scan machine, images of blood flow through the arteries and the heart are captured. Thus, any blockage in the coronary artery can be identified with remarkable accuracy.
- Blood tests: Obesity and diabetes are the two most significant risk factors for a heart attack. Blood tests are used to detect the level of cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose in the bloodstream. Values higher than the normal range indicate a higher risk of heart disease and heart attack.
- Diagnosing a heart disease on time is critical to preventing a heart attack. Experts from the HealthAssure network will help you prevent a heart attack by evidence-backed suggestions that are customised to your health status. Simple tests like a blood test or an ECG can be easily ordered right at home using world-class laboratories from the HealthAssure network.
- Don’t sit back and let heart disease take control. Choose a primary care centre from our app or website and order these predictive tests today! Just a click on HealthAssure can help you gain complete control of your heart health!
You can order these tests easily via HealthAssure and gain peace of mind.
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