How much do you really know about heart attacks?


By: Olivia Seitz

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you know the signs of a heart attack? What about common treatment methods and ways to reduce your risk of having one? Test your knowledge and maybe learn a thing or two when you take this quiz on heart attacks!

What is the leading cause of heart attacks?

CHD is the result of plaque build-up inside the heart's arteries. The result is reduced blood flow to the heart; eventually, the plaque can grow to completely block passage through the affected artery.


What common drug is believed to mitigate damage from a heart attack?

Aspirin acts as a low-grade blood thinner and may be useful during the onset of a heart attack. Medical professionals discourage the use of aspirin for heart attacks without proper oversight, since its effectiveness depends on the person's medical history.


If a heart attack isn't caused by a blockage of some kind, what else could cause it?

All of these can potentially cause something called a coronary artery spasm. If the spasm is severe enough, it can restrict blood flow in the heart enough to cause a heart attack.


Can you have a heart attack and not realize it?

"Silent" heart attacks still do damage but are not noticed by the people having them. Many "silent" heart attacks are discovered by doctors later in the patient's life, so it's important to maintain regular communication with healthcare professionals, especially if you are at risk for a heart attack.


Are heart attack symptoms always the same for a particular person?

One common mistake made by heart attack survivors is that a second heart attack will feel the same as the first. In reality, symptoms can vary, so it's important to remain vigilant and call 911 when in doubt.


Coronary angiography might be done on a patient's arteries to discover what?

During or after a heart attack, doctors need to pinpoint where blockages in the heart occur. One of the fastest ways to do this is by taking an x-ray after dye is inserted into the bloodstream. Observing where the dye travels will tell a doctor where blockages exist.


What can be done during a coronary angioplasty?

An angioplasty is when a doctor uses a catheter (a very small tube) to find blockages and if possible, open a blocked artery. The entry point is usually through a blood vessel in the wrist, thereby avoiding the need for surgical wounds.


What happens during cardiac rehabilitation?

Typically, recovery after a heart attack will include some rehab: this often includes physical exercises to help the patient improve circulation and general health, along with educational sessions to help them understand their post-heart attack treatments and recommended lifestyle changes.


Which symptom is common for heart attacks?

One of the most recognizable symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain, although how the pain presents itself varies from person to person. Many heart attack sufferers also feel general pain in the upper half of their body.


Which of these is not usually a symptom of a heart attack?

While chest pain is a hallmark of heart attack symptoms in the public's memory, some others are cold sweat and nausea/vomiting. Other symptoms might include confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness or persistent fatigue.


Are heart attacks fatal?

Not every heart attack is fatal, though many are. Some people can have several heart attacks without noticing until their heart is severely damaged.


Which of the following could be caused by a heart attack?

A heart attack, if not fatal, could result in arrhythmia - an abnormal heartbeat that may or may not cause serious complications.


When are heart attack patients allowed to drive?

Patients should consult with medical professionals for specific guidance about when to resume driving. They are under no circumstances permitted to drive themselves to and from the hospital, as they may easily cause a traffic accident.


What is the first thing you should do if you think you're having a heart attack?

When in doubt, it's a good idea to call 911 and explain that you're worried you're having a heart attack. Paramedics will be able to help you determine the next steps.


What is angina?

Patients who have experienced a heart attack often develop angina, which is a chest pain that can be aggravated by exercise. Since it doesn't indicate an oncoming heart attack, it's important for patients to work with a provider to understand the difference between chest pain from angina and chest pain from another heart attack.


Which of the following is not a typical heart attack treatment?

As funny as it sounds, nitroglycerin is good for more than just explosions: it's also used to make your heart's job easier in case of a heart attack or other heart disease. Thrombolytic medicines help clots break apart, so they're pretty useful, too.


Coronary artery bypass surgery, an open-heart procedure, is nicknamed what?

"Cabbage," or CABG, stands for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. Serious cases of heart disease may require this surgery in the hopes that it will prevent future heart attacks.


Which of the following wouldn't be likely to reduce risk of a heart attack?

Reducing everyday stress and implementing an exercise routine are two great ways to reduce the risk of having a heart attack.


Why would someone potentially suffering a heart attack have their blood drawn?

Heart attacks can be diagnosed with a blood test: when a heart attack occurs and heart cells begin to die, they burst and release certain proteins into the bloodstream. Seeing these proteins is generally confirmation that a heart attack has occurred.


What is an EKG?

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test of the heart's electrical activity. EKG techs and doctors can recognize patterns in an EKG symptomatic of a heart attack, arrhythmia or other heart problems.


Which of the following behaviors increases your risk of having a heart attack?

Exercise is important for a healthy heart, and individuals who do not get much exercise have a higher risk of heart attacks. While driving without a seat belt can make death by car accident more likely, it's not going to increase your risk of a heart attack.


Which of the following is not a heart medicine?

Scopalamine is commonly used to treat nausea and related symptoms; beta blockers and ace inhibitors are both drugs that are commonly prescribed for someone with heart disease at risk of (or post) heart attack.


What is a heart attack?

If a person suffers a heart attack, the blood moving to part of the heart is blocked. If it goes without oxygen for very long, the affected heart tissue will die.


Which of these is not a condition associated with metabolic syndrome?

When someone has been diagnosed with obesity, high blood sugar and high blood pressure, they're said to evidence metabolic syndrome. These patients' risk of a heart attack is double that of most people.


Are heart attacks and cardiac arrest the same thing?

In cardiac arrest, a patient's heart stops functioning correctly and often stops beating; it's typically an electrical issue. A heart attack has to do with inhibited circulation, and may result in cardiac arrest.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for whom?

Both sexes suffer from heart disease more than any other kind of death. It's due to a mix of factors - heart attacks can strike quickly, the symptoms may be ambiguous, and they're more common in those who live to old age.


Which of these does not increase your risk of a heart attack?

Initial studies provided mixed results on the question of caffeine, but concluded that one or two cups of coffee a day would not increase risk of a heart attack. Chronic sleep loss, on the other hand, is definitely a contributing factor to heart disease.


What condition, developed during pregnancy, can make a woman more likely to have a heart attack?

Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that results in high blood pressure, kidney problems, and a host of unpleasant symptoms, like blurry vision, stomach pain, and headaches. Women diagnosed with preeclampsia have a higher risk of heart disease later in life.


Which of these is less of a risk factor for heart attacks than the others?

There's no perfect number that sums up the risk of heart attack for a women vs a man, because men and women have different risk profiles at different ages. Age and family history are much more significant predictors - growing old and having a family history of heart problems make a heart attack more likely.


Which sex has lower heart attack survival rates: male or female?

Women are significantly more likely to die from a heart attack than men, in part because their symptoms are not always obvious. Another contributing factor is that women tend to live longer than men do, by which time they're at a higher risk of dying from heart attacks than most other things.


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