Heart Attack – Frequently asked questions
Q. I suffered heart attack recently, what should I do to avoid further attack ?
A. The risk of suffering can be reduced by regular exercise, reducing the obesity, cessation of smoking change in life style and regular use of medicines (link to management)
Q. My doctor advised me to take aspirin, for how much time should I take and why ?
A. Aspirin interferes with clotting of blood by inhibiting the aggregation of platelets. It has been observed that long term use of aspirin reduces the risk as well as severity of further attacks, chances of stroke and cardiovascular death.
Q. Is it safe to continue with my normal sex life after heart attack ?
A. You can enjoy your normal sexual life after 4-5 weeks.
Q. Can heart attack occur without chest pain ?
A. Yes, heart attack may occur without chest pain (Painless infarction). The chances of having painless heart attack is more in diabetics and elderly people.
Q. I am having angina after relatively less exertion now a days, what should I do ?
A. You should consult your physician for cardiac evaluation as your angina may be worsening.
Q. What should be the level of bad and good cholesterol and how can it be achieved ?
A. The targeted level of bad (LDL) cholesterol is below 100 mg/dl and good (HDL) cholesterol is above 60 mg/dl respectively. This can be achieved by diet planning, regular exercise and use of lipid lowering drugs.
Q. I frequently have upper abdominal discomfort, is it related to use of aspirin ?
A. Although aspirin may cause upper abdominal discomfort and pain its better to consult your doctor for proper evaluation because it could be anginal pain. The discomfort and pain caused by aspirin usually improves by taking enteric coated tablets, antacid and H2 receptor blocker drugs.
Q. Alcohol can protect from heart disease, is it true ?
A. There are reports that mild alcohol consumption (2-3 pegs/day) can be protective by increasing the good (HDL) cholesterol level and and reducing the clotting tendency of blood. But this point should not overemphasized considering the fact that exercise, reduction of obesity and aspirin are better alternatives. Heavy drinking, on the other hand is associated with high blood pressure, high calorie intake leading to obesity and adverse cardiac events.