Heart Health

Some Facts About Heart Disease

Heart Health is a very important topic.

According to the US National Institute of Health, annually there are around 1.1 million people in the US who experience a heart attack.

Out of those numbers, more than 400,000 die before getting medical treatment at a local hospital.

You may not know this, but cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death in the US and the leading cause of death worldwide.

Risk factors for a heart attack (or Myocardial Infarction -- M.I. for short) have two categories.

The two categories are Modifiable (or Changeable) risk factors and Unmodifiable (or Unchangeable) risk factors. These are discussed below.

Risk Factors for a Heart Attack


  • Age (specifically, 60-65 years old or older)
  • Gender (males are more likely than females)
  • Family History of Heart Disease


  • Low HDL or “good” Cholesterol
  • High LDL or “bad” Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure (or Hypertension)
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  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Chronic Stress

What Happens at the Emergency Room?

When a patient comes to the emergency room complaining of chest pain or pressure and left arm pain, the emergency room team begins what is called an acute coronary syndrome (or “ACS”) workup.

This evaluation includes getting a patient history, taking an electrocardiogram (or “EKG”) a non-invasive recording of the electrical activity of the heart.

What the medical team is especially looking for here is ST elevation.

The ACS workup also includes some blood tests. There are two… one is a CK-MB biomarker test, the other is a test for a complex of proteins known as Troponin.

Troponin is involved in the regulation of the heart muscles’ contractions.

Medications Used in the Treatment of Heart Disease

The Following Medications may be given in the Emergency Room:

  • Morphine (relieves pain)
  • Heparin Injections (prevents clots)
  • Aspirin (ASA) (prevents clots)
  • Nitroglycerin (NTG) (relieves pain)
  • Oxygen

The Following Medications may be given after the Patient has received a Heart Catheterization:

  • A Beta-Blocker, such as Coreg (carvedilol) or Lopressor (Metoprolol)
  • An ACE Inhibitor, such as Capoten (captopril)
  • Statins, which lower cholesterol Zocor (simvastatin)or Lipitor
  • An Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARB), such as Cozaar (losartan)
  • Antiplatelet Agents, such as: Plavix (clopidrogel) or Aspirin

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