James Gandolfini died Wednesday while vacationing in Italy. Though an autopsy has yet to be conducted, several media outlets have reported the New Jersey-born actor and star of “The Sopranos” suffered a massive heart attack. You can read Dr. Chauncey Crandall’s article regarding the death of James Gandolfini’s HERE. Top heart attack questions listed and answered below.
The Star-Ledger spoke with Barry Cohen, medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Morristown Medical Center, an interventional cardiologist and author of the 2007 book “Coronary Heart Disease: A Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment,” to find out a little bit more about heart disease and heart attacks.
Q: What is a massive heart attack?
A: The more accurate term is fatal heart attack. The arteries that feed the heart muscle – almost like a gas line to your engine – become clogged. You get electrical instability and the heart goes into a chaotic rhythm.
Q: Is it possible to have a fatal heart attack without warning?
A: Yes. One-third of patients who experience a STEMI (ST segment elevation myocardial infarction) heart attack die suddenly. Other symptoms might include shortness of breath, chest pain, arm pain, throat pain and sweating.
Q: Is obesity a cause of heart attacks?
A: Obesity is considered an independent risk factor. It is one among many. Others include elevated cholesterol — or the good cholesterol known as HDL can be low — high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes. Family history is a very strong predictor.
Q: Can skinny people suffer fatal heart attacks?
A: Yes, low weight does not entirely protect you from heart disease. One must assess all risk factors and sometimes it can occur without any risk factors.
Q: Is there anything that can trigger a fatal heart attack?
A: There are multiple triggers including stress, anger and smoking. Smoking may cause the blood cells to be stickier, which can close off an artery.
Q: What can help prevent heart attacks?
A: Good diet and exercise – Don’t start running marathons without getting checked by a physician first. A Mediterranean diet is very heart-healthy. Have a diet low in saturated fats. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Control blood pressure, avoid smoking, get regular check-ups and do not minimize symptoms if you are feeling any symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath or dizziness.
You can read original article HERE