Both disorders arise from problems with the heart but each with distinct risk factors, treatment options, and outcomes. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is among the most common causes of death throughout the world. It is estimated that more than 3 million people die annually from SCA, with a survival rate of less than 1%.
SCA is a life-threatening condition wherein the heart’s electrical system is affected. During SCA, the heart stops beating and no blood is pumped into the body. This could be compared to losing electricity in your house. The heart’s “electricity” must be turned back on, typically through electrical shock. Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack.
Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction (MI) occurs when there is a blockage in one or more of the arteries to the heart, preventing oxygen-rich blood supply to some part of the heart muscle. Heart attacks most often occur as a result of coronary artery disease (CAD) which is a result of plaque buildup in the arteries, which blocks blood flow and heightens the risk for heart attack. However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance that leads to sudden cardiac arrest.
While both cause serious problems and possible death, SCA often occurs abruptly and without warning. In fact, two-thirds of SCA deaths occur without any prior indications of heart disease, while heart attacks often have previous signs and symptoms.
Risk factors for Cardiac arrest-
•Previous heart attack – 75% of SCA cases are linked to a
previous heart attack
•Coronary artery disease
•Family history – genetic reasons put the even younger population at risk
Risk factors for Heart attack:
•Age – People who are 65-years-old or older
•High blood pressure (hypertension)
•High serum cholesterol
•Family history of coronary disease
•Stress and obesity
How do keep the heart healthy?
Few lifestyle changes can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy; here is how.
• Don’t overload your plate
• Include more vegetables & fruits in your diet
• Opt for whole grains in your meal as they are a good source of
fiber & nutrients
• Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol
• Choose low-fat protein sources
• Reduce intake of sodium in your diet
• Regular panchakarma sessions post consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner.
A heart attack patient should be rushed to the hospital within an hour and required treatment should be delivered. A case of cardiac arrest is however more grave and fatal. A sudden cardiac arrest requires immediate action for survival. The most effective way to treat sudden cardiac arrest is defibrillation. The American Heart Association recommends defibrillation within 3 to 5 minutes of arrest, or sooner, for sudden cardiac arrests occurring outside the hospital.