What are the Causes and Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest

How to Test for Cardiac Arrest?

What is a Cardiac Arrest?

Cardiac arrest refers to an abrupt loss of heart function, leading to stopping of blood flow to vital organs and eventual death without rapid treatment.

Key Causes of Cardiac Arrest

  1. Heart attack damaging heart muscle
  2. Abnormal heart rhythms like ventricular fibrillation
  3. Cardiomyopathy stretching or thickening heart walls
  4. Coronary artery disease
  5. Electrical signalling defects
  6. Extreme trauma or blood loss

The key causes and contributing factors for osteoarthritis can be broadly categorized into:

Non-Modifiable Causes

  • Age: Risk increases progressively after age 45 due to cumulative joint wear and tear.
  • Gender: More prevalent in women due to hormonal factors influencing cartilage strength.
  • Genetics: Defects in collagen production, bone shape/alignment can predispose joints to damage.
  • Bone Deformities: Congenital hip dysplasia, previous joint injuries lead to uneven joint loading.

Modifiable Causes

  • Muscle Weakness: Weak thigh muscles increase force transmitted through knees during activities.
  • Joint Overuse: Occupational or sports-related repeated high-intensity joint use speeds breakdown.
  • Obesity: Excess weight strains joints, especially knees and hips bearing the load.
  • Inflammatory Diseases: Autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis trigger cartilage breakdown via inflammation.

Other Factors

  • Diet: Diets low in inflammation-fighting nutrients like omega-3s, antioxidants and low vitamin D status promote cartilage loss.
  • Metabolic Disorders: The stresses glucose imbalances place on joint tissues may advance osteoarthritis.

As we can see, while age and genetics play a key role, preventative lifestyle approaches can help reduce modifiable risks posed by mechanical factors, diet and metabolic diseases. A combination of causes usually contribute to development of osteoarthritis.

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Symptoms Preceding Cardiac Arrest

While cardiac arrest strikes suddenly, warning signs may include:

  1. Racing heartbeat
  2. Fatigue, weakness
  3. Chest pain or discomfort
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Nausea, lightheadedness

Who All are at the Risk of Cardiac Arrest?

Some of the key groups who are at a higher risk of cardiac arrest include:

  1. People with heart disease: This includes those with conditions like coronary artery disease, prior heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathies etc. The diseased heart is more vulnerable to electrical disturbances.
  2. Older adults: The risk increases significantly after age 65 as the heart's electrical system can degrade and heart disease prevalence increases with age.
  3. Smokers: Smoking drastically increases the chance of atherosclerotic plaques and blood clots leading to heart attacks and cardiac arrest events.
  4. People with diabetes: Long-standing diabetes accelerates atherosclerosis which can cause ischaemia-triggered fatal arrhythmias if plaques rupture. It alters heart muscle as well.
  5. Obesity: Being overweight strains the cardiovascular system. Excess body fat causes inflammation and oxidant stress which damages blood vessels and heart tissue.
  6. Sedentary individuals: Lack of physical activity is tied to many poor heart health outcomes that boost cardiac arrest risk like obesity, high blood pressure etc. Exercise protects the heart.
  7. Substance abusers: Chronic alcoholism, cocaine, amphetamine use all profoundly impact heart rhythm, arteries lining and muscle function, precipitating arrests.

The key is mitigating reversible risk factors with lifestyle changes and optimally managing any underlying heart conditions through preventative healthcare.

How to Save Yourself from Cardiac Arrest?

Here are some of the most important ways to save yourself from cardiac arrest:

  1. Know the Early Warning Signs - Do not ignore symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea etc. as they can indicate a heart attack that could lead to cardiac arrest. Get emergency care promptly.
  2. Control Risk Factors - Keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar within normal limits. Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. Exercise regularly and maintain healthy weight. Manage stress. Limit alcohol. These help prevent atherosclerosis and heart damage over time, decreasing arrest risk.
  3. Take Prescribed Medications - Properly follow medications regimens for conditions like high BP, arrhythmias, high cholesterol etc. These help prevent progression of underlying issues that could result in sudden cardiac arrest.
  4. Learn CPR - Getting CPR from a bystander doubles survival odds in cardiac arrests according to AHA. Learning skills to do rapid defibrillation and chest compressions until EMTs can shock or pace the heart again is crucial.
  5. Consider Preventative Devices - Your doctor may recommend automated external defibrillators (AEDs), implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) or pacemakers if at high risk. These can save lives by restoring normal rhythms.

Advance action is key - identify warning signs early and mitigate trigger risks proactively at the first opportunity through lifestyle measures, adhering to treatment, and preparedness.

How to Test for Cardiac Arrest?

Here are some of the key lab tests and procedures that can help detect conditions associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrest:

  1. Lipid profile - High LDL cholesterol and low HDL levels indicate atherosclerosis risk, which can lead to heart attacks that may result in arrests.
  2. Blood glucose tests - Uncontrolled diabetes accelerates cardiovascular damage. Both fasting blood glucose and HbA1C should be checked.
  3. Cardiac enzyme tests - Troponin and CK-MB levels help diagnose heart attacks and ongoing heart muscle injury.
  4. Complete blood count (CBC) - Anemia and other blood abnormalities can worsen existing heart problems.
  5. Thyroid function panel - Both high and low thyroid hormone levels affect heart health adversely.
  6. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) - High BNP signifies congestive heart failure risk, which predisposes to arrests.
  7. Electrocardiogram (ECG) - Looks for blocks, abnormal rhythms like ventricular tachycardia, and ischaemic changes signalling underlying heart conditions.
  8. Echocardiogram - Evaluates actual cardiac pumping function, valves problems, enlarged chambers, which provide arrest insights.
  9. Cardiac CT angiogram - Visualizes artery blockages and aneurysms that could acutely trigger arrests if ruptured plaques or clots completely obstruct arteries.

Routine screening through panels incorporating these lab markers and imaging tests helps reveal evolving cardiac abnormalities early. Timely identification and treatment are key for preventing complications like sudden cardiac death.

Which blood test is most predictive of cardiac arrest risk?

The high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) blood test is likely the most predictive, as high levels of this inflammatory marker signal atherosclerotic plaque instability. Rupturing plaque causes most heart attacks and subsequent arrests.

How often should high-risk individuals be screened?

For those with multiple risk factors for cardiac issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc., most cardiology groups recommend getting lipid profiles, blood glucose, CBC, kidney function and electrolytes tested every 6 months. Annual stress tests after age 50 also.

Does preventative screening guarantee cardiac arrest prevention?

While the tests help identify evolving heart disease early and prompt preventive treatments, they cannot guarantee preventing a sudden cardiac arrest by themselves. Making sustainable nutrition/lifestyle changes along with complying to medication regimens suggested by doctors based on test findings is equally vital for lowering future cardiac arrest risk.

The cardiac health checkup packages at healthcare nt sickcare screen risk factors like LDL cholesterol, BP, blood sugar to enable early prevention and treatment if required. Diagnostic tests assess onset of blockages. So book your package today online on test collection page or call +91 9766060629 to schedule a cardiac risk evaluation now. Timely identification can save lives!

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