Men: Heed Warning Signs of Heart Attack

It’s well known that more men have heart attacks than women, but many men ignore their cardiac health or don’t recognize warning signs. To further complicate matters, cardiologists can’t diagnose heart disease until the condition is advanced enough to cause high cholesterol or a blockage – problems that increase the risk of heart attack.

Most heart disease is coronary heart disease, in which arterial plaque build-up narrows blood vessels, lessening the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the heart. While most men don’t have heart attacks until later in life – the average man gets his first heart attack at age 65 – plaque has been found in the hearts of 20-year-olds. That means that arterial plaque can build up for decades before men develop major problems.

Study Links ED to Heart Attack

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – A new study suggests that men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) need to worry about more than their sex life — in men with cardiovascular disease, ED can indicate a greater risk of heart attack.

The study of 1,500 men, which was published in “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association,” found that men with both ED and cardiovascular disease were twice as likely to have a heart attack than men with cardiovascular disease, but no ED. And the worse the ED, the greater the risk.

This research only confirms what doctors have known for years — men need to take ED seriously.

The male organ serves as the barometer of a man’s overall health, with dysfunction often acting as a precursor for other existing or potential health issues. Studies have established that men with ED are more likely to develop heart problems like heart attack, cardiac death, stroke and angina, or chest pain. ED can also be an early sign of diabetes, high cholesterol levels and other physical ailments. Even mild symptoms of ED can mean that there are issues in other parts of a man’s body.

Before addressing ED, men should make sure that they are otherwise healthy. Doctors who specifically deal with sexual dysfunction issues, such as physicians with Boston Medical Group (, can identify underlying issues that may be causing ED.

Treatment is available even for men with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer and kidney or liver problems, who often have trouble taking oral medications for ED, due to potentially serious systemic side effects. Intracavernous pharmocotherapy (ICP) — a small and minimally invasive injection of a combination of FDA-approved medications — may be a better option. Other alternatives include intraurethral suppository and vacuum suction devices.

Sex is an important part of physical, psychological and emotional health. Men experiencing ED should ask their doctor about treatment options — but only after looking for underlying health issues that may be causing the problem.

When Letting it Snow Leads to Heart Attacks

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – We might sing, “Let it snow,” but winter weather loses its charm when it comes time to shovel. Not only can shoveling snow lead to slips, falls and backaches, it also raises the risk of heart attack.

Why so dangerous? Exercise raises heart rates, while cold temperatures constrict blood vessels and arteries. The combination can prove deadly. For men aged 35 to 49, shoveling snow triples the risk of heart attack death.

Individuals with heart disease, a history of heart attack, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or who smoke, should consult their doctor before attempting to shovel snow. Seniors and those unused to strenuous exercise should also take caution.

Luckily, some products make snow removal safer for those at-risk of heart attack. Snowblowers eliminate lifting and throwing. Another example, HeatTrak mats (, keep snow from accumulating. The waterproof mats, which are electrically heated, melt snow at a rate of two inches per hour. Homeowners who turn on the mats when snow begins to fall will enjoy clear stairs or walkways, no shoveling required. These mats are designed to be left out for the entire winter season — then simply roll them up and store them away in the spring.

If you do need to shovel, there are ways to reduce the risks. Here are some quick tips for safer shoveling:

– Take it easy. Clearing your driveway isn’t a competition. Stretch before starting. Instead of lifting and throwing huge piles of snow, skim two to three inches of snow at at time. If you need to avoid heavy lifting, use your shovel to push. rather than throw, snow to the side. Take a break every fifteen minutes, or when you feel uncomfortably tired or cold.

– Keep warm. Wear layers, even if you know that you’re going to work up a sweat. Staying hydrated is important, but stick to water or hot cocoa — the caffeine in coffee can constrict blood vessels.

– Avoid back strain. Bend your knees, and keep your back as straight as possible as you lift. Don’t bend at the waist, and step in the direction that you’re throwing snow.

– Know the warning signs. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, fainting or shoulder, back, neck or arm pain, stop shoveling immediately and seek medical help.

For more information on the HeatTrak products, visit

Lab Tests Diagnose the “Invisible” Heart Attack

<b>Lab Tests Diagnose the “> (NewsUSA) – The “Hollywood heart attack” — the one in which victims grab their chests, gasp and fall to the floor — is not always the way real people experience a coronary episode. In fact, doctors often struggle to diagnose whether a heart attack has even occurred.

Many patients have symptoms that mimic other conditions, and a quarter of heart attack patients have no chest pain. Many patients even have normal EKG readings. This is especially true for women, who often exhibit different heart attack symptoms than men.

So, how can physicians diagnose a real heart attack? Some of the most important tools are inexpensive cardiac lab tests that can be done quickly with a blood sample. The tests measure substances, which are released into the bloodstream, and signal cardiac stress or damage.

One of these cardiac markers is troponin. It enters the bloodstream within hours of a heart attack and remains there for as long as a week or two. Thus, doctors can diagnose the heart attack well after it has happened.

More accurate diagnosis can result in faster, better care. Patients with a confirmed diagnosis can be treated promptly — reducing the likelihood of death or disability. Better diagnosis also increases the chances that patients with atypical symptoms will not be sent home incorrectly. In fact, about 2 percent to 10 percent of patients who are actually experiencing a heart attack are sent home from emergency rooms. According to the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, the chance of dying from a heart attack is doubled for a person who is sent home from the hospital because his or her symptoms are atypical or do not register on an EKG.

At the same time, when the tests show that patients have not had a heart attack, the patients can avoid unneeded unnecessary treatment and can be sent home sooner. Some $12 billion is spent every year on inappropriately hospitalizing patients who are not actually having a heart attack.

For more information about lab tests and their benefits in diagnosing heart attacks, visit