If heart disease runs in your family, continue reading on to learn more about heart attacks. You can also have your primary care physician recommend you to a cardiologist for assessment. A cardiologist can educate you on actions to take to prevent heart disease. Since heart attack signs and symptoms are not always present, the more you know, the better your chances will be. If you are a candidate for having a heart attack, knowing what to expect and early detection can ensure a better outcome.  

People who are most at risk for a heart attack

  • Those with a family history of heart disease.
  • Men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55.
  • Having high cholesterol.
  • Have an autoimmune disease.
  • If you are a smoker or use tobacco products.
  • People who are diabetic.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • People who are obese.
  • Someone who is under a lot of stress.
  • People who are not very active.
  • Those who use illegal drugs.
  • Have a history of pregnancy complications.
  • If you experienced early menopause.


If you have one or more of the following conditions, this puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack. That’s why it is important to recognize the warning signs. Heart attack signs and symptoms between men and women do vary. Like men, women usually experience chest pain, also known as angina. But women are more likely to develop other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or upper body discomfort. Some heart attacks can strike suddenly, where others may have warning signs hours, days, or even weeks in advance. Even if you are not sure if you have a heart attack, you should always get checked out.           

Signs you may be having a heart attack   

  • Feeling of tightness, squeezing, or fullness in the center of your chest that can last a few minutes or come and go.
  • Uncomfortable pain in your chest or arms that spreads to your back, neck, or jaw. 
  • Shortness of breath.  
  • Nausea, indigestion, or heartburn.
  •  Cold sweats. 
  • Lightheaded or dizzy.


Heart attacks occur when the blood flow to the heart is blocked by buildup. The buildup consists of cholesterol, fat, and other bad substances and narrows the arteries to the heart. These substances form plaque in the arteries. The plaque can sometimes rupture, forming clots that block the blood flow. The blockage can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle, causing a heart attack. No matter your circumstances concerning your heart condition, maybe now is the time to reclaim your healthy heart.  

If you are working towards gaining a healthier heart, it is important to identify your possible heart attack triggers. If you smoke, quit smoking. If you are overweight, start exercising and eating healthier for a new you. If you are under a lot of stress, find ways to manage the pressure. If you are a non-active person, you now have double the risk of a heart attack. Get up and start moving. Go for a brisk walk around the block or start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Learn to meditate. Small changes will turn into big results which can only benefit you and your heart.

If you are looking for a cardiologist in the Lafayette, LA area, Dr. Corwin Thomas is a board-certified specialist with over 20 years of experience. Dr. Thomas will work to make sure you understand your disease so that you can begin to learn how to create a healthier lifestyle. Put your heart in his hands.