Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Understanding Heart Attack

This is part nine in our series the heart of the matter. Part eight can be found here and the disclaimer can be found here.

Every year, millions of people across the world die from heart attacks, many at the prime of their lives. It strikes suddenly, usually without warning, and with great impact to the patient, his family and those around him. Yes heart attack is devastating. Some idea of how bad it is can be found by looking at this document published by the American Heart Association.

In 1999 CVD contributed to one-third of global deaths...By 2010 CVD is estimated to be the leading cause of death in developing countries.

The World Health Organization has an Atlas of Heart Disease here which gives a picture of what the problem looks like and it's huge. The world atlas from this WHO publication pulls no punches when it states unequivocally that:

Coronary Heart Disease is now the leading cause of death worldwide.

The layman calls it a heart attack. The medics call it acute myocardial infarction. The name itself connotes, suddenness in its onset and a catastrophe in the offering. A heart attack occurs suddenly, often without warning, and 40% of those attacked, just drop dead, without the opportunity to seek medical treatment.

In the next part we will discuss what happens in a heart attack.

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