"I never thought it could happen to me."
That's how Rose Rench reacted when doctors told her she was having a heart attack. At age 46, Rench was bewildered when she suddenly couldn't catch her breath while out for a walk on a sunny spring day. "I was young, I was 130 pounds, and I'd quit smoking a month before. I was healthy. But I couldn't breathe."
Rench tells WebMD that she somehow drove herself home, but couldn't rest; her mind raced as she tried to gasp for breath. "I thought maybe I was having...
Unstable angina is
chest pain or discomfort from lack of blood flow, but there is no damage to the heart muscle.
It often happens when you are at rest. You may have had
stable angina before. You knew when to expect your symptoms, such as when you exercised. Stable angina usually goes away
when you rest or take your angina medicine. But the symptoms of unstable angina may
not go away with rest or medicine. It may get worse or happen at times that it
didn't before. Unstable angina is not a heart attack. But it is a warning that
a heart attack could happen soon, so it needs to be treated right
A heart attack means a coronary artery
has been blocked and the heart has been damaged. Without blood flow and oxygen,
part of the heart starts to die.
Any type of acute coronary syndrome is very serious and
needs to be treated right away.
What causes acute coronary syndrome?
coronary syndrome happens because
plaque narrows or blocks the arteries that supply
blood to the heart. Plaque is made of
cholesterol and other things. Over time, plaque can
build up in the arteries. This is known as
atherosclerosis. When it happens in coronary arteries, it is called coronary artery disease.
Plaque causes angina by narrowing the
arteries. The narrowing limits blood flow to the heart muscle. A heart attack happens when blood flow is completely blocked.
What are the symptoms?
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. These may include:
Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.