What are the signs in young people?
In general, the signs of a heart attack in young people are the same as in older people. However, there are a few differences in the perception of the signs. The perception of pain is even more intense in young people than in older people.
They may feel pain more strongly, which in older people is transmitted more weakly due to possible damage to the nerve conduction paths. On the other hand, young people usually still have a very good blood supply and pumping capacity of the heart. For this reason, they are better able to compensate for the occlusion of a vessel and thus a poorer supply. Due to these compensatory mechanisms, the symptoms and signs of a heart attack only occur when the heart is damaged to a greater extent, which can no longer be compensated. In summary, it can be said that the signs of a myocardial infarction in young people do not appear until later, but then they are usually very intense and there is usually already severe damage to the heart.
How do the signs of a heart attack differ from a stroke?
Both a heart attack and a stroke result in reduced blood flow to the respective organ. As the supply of blood to certain parts of the heart or brain is interrupted, the cells die and functional failures occur. In the case of a stroke, first of all the blood supply in the brain is reduced and therefore some functions can no longer be fully performed.
Consequently, signs of a stroke are mainly hemiplegia of the face, speech disorders or difficulties in speaking. In addition, sudden severe headaches, coordination problems, dizziness, visual disturbances, confusion or reduced consciousness may occur. In contrast, the pumping function of the heart is limited in a heart attack.
The first signs of a heart attack are an extremely strong pain in the chest region or a radiating pain in the arms, upper abdomen, back or lower jaw. Sometimes breathing difficulties occur because the restricted pumping function does not allow enough blood to be pumped and thus not enough oxygen to be transported through the body. One has the feeling of not getting enough air and dizziness can occur.
Clinical signs of heart attack
Further signs of a myocardial infarction are revealed during the physical examination by the doctor. There are often irregularities in the pulse, caused by so-called extrasystoles. Extrasystoles are heartbeats that occur in addition to the normal heart rhythm.
They can be harmless, but they can also be associated with a heart attack. Other signs may indicate that damage has already occurred in connection with the heart attack. These include, for example, a pulse that is too fast and additional heart sounds or murmurs.
These indicate the beginning of cardiac insufficiency. Signs of this can also include congestion of the neck veins and rales over the lungs. Mitral valve insufficiency (damage to the mitral valve), inflammation of the pericardium or a ruptured ventricle may also be clinical signs of a myocardial infarction.
In addition, other damage that has already occurred, such as tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation or asystole, also provide indications of a heart attack. One can see that the clinical signs are more than complex and widely spread. In the end, technical findings provide certainty.