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How can a heart attack be predicted months in advance?

A heart attack can be predicted months in advance by the appearance of warning signs, like fatigue.

A heart attack can be predicted months in advance, if not years in advance. If a patient is having symptoms of angina, which is usually pressure in the chest but may include discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach area and may be associated with nausea or sweating, one should think of heart disease and an impending risk of heart attack. This is especially true if the symptoms are becoming more severe and more easily provoked, such as someone who could walk a mile before having chest pain now is having chest pain walking from the bedroom to the bathroom. These increasing symptoms are predictive of worsening coronary disease and an increasing risk of having a heart attack.

There are multiple risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, diabetes, no exercise and stress, which make it more likely to have a heart attack as well as diabetes.

Stress testing, coronary calcification or CT testing, advanced lipid testing can help predict heart disease, along with CRP and other inflammatory marker testing. The future testing will include genetic studies, which will help us better pick out patients at risk for having heart disease.

Heart attacks can be predicted months in advance by assessing the risk factors of the patient, which include hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes and tobacco use, along with obesity, lack of exercise, and elevated inflammatory markers such as CRP. Stress testing such as exercise treadmill testing, stress echo, multiple imaging, CT scanning with calcium scores, or angiography may show significant disease in the heart. If this is left untreated there is an increased risk that the patient would have a heart attack. Many times patients will begin to have chest pain syndromes before they actually have a heart attack. If they go see the doctor this can be recognized and stabilized before a heart attack occurs. A great deal of research is currently being done to find newer markers that can help predict the risk of a heart attack before it occurs.

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