Angina & Heart Attack

Cardiology & Invasive Cardiologist located in Houston, TX
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Angina & Heart Attack services offered in Houston, TX

According to data gathered by the CDC, someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Cardiologist Humayun Naqvi, MD, MBA, at West Houston Heart Center in Houston, Texas, is determined to change that alarming statistic. His cardiac services include proactive care strategies that prevent heart attacks. And if you’ve already had one, he can develop a plan for avoiding a second. Schedule an evaluation today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

Angina & Heart Attack Q & A

What happens during a heart attack?

Your heart beats about 72 times per minute, circulating up to 2,000 gallons of blood daily to the rest of your body. The heart needs a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood to accomplish this never-ending task.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart ceases, usually due to plaque formation (atherosclerosis) in the coronary arteries. Blood loss starves the heart muscle of oxygen, eventually leading to permanent damage. 

Sometimes, a heart attack occurs without warning and may even be silent or asymptomatic. However, most people experience symptoms during a heart attack that include:

  • Chest pain or squeezing chest pressure
  • Upper abdominal discomfort, often described as heartburn
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Pain traveling into the arms, shoulders, upper back, neck
  • Anxiety and restlessness

It’s essential to seek emergency medical care if you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing a heart attack. Fortunately, with prompt treatment and appropriate lifestyle changes, many people survive and even thrive following a heart attack.

Is angina the same as a heart attack?

Angina is chest pain that comes and goes. It may be a symptom of coronary artery disease narrowing but not yet blocking your arteries. For instance, you may experience chest pain with exercise. If the discomfort resolves with rest or with medication such as nitroglycerin, you may have what’s known as stable angina. 

This likely indicates your cardiac arteries are partially but not completely blocked. Stable angina does not damage the heart muscle because blood flow only reduces momentarily. On the other hand, a heart attack causes the cessation of blood flow that lasts long enough for part of the heart muscle to die. However, you should never ignore angina because it’s a symptom of heart disease and may signal a pending heart attack.

Can you prevent a heart attack?

Dr. Naqvi develops personalized strategies designed to reduce your risk of a heart attack based on a thorough evaluation and advanced diagnostic studies such as echocardiogram and nuclear stress testing.

Your plan may include:

  • Medication to control blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improved nutrition
  • Increased physical activity
  • Weight loss
  • Effective diabetes management
  • Recommendations for decreasing stress

Schedule a cardiac evaluation today by calling West Houston Heart Center or requesting an appointment online.