What is Acute Coronary Syndrome?

ACS stands for Acute Coronary Syndrome and is a term referring to any condition brought on by sudden, reduced blood flow to the heart. It is treatable if diagnosed quickly.

What are the symptoms of ACS?

Many ACS symptoms are the same as those of a heart attack, and if not treated quickly, ACS will lead to a heart attack. ACS symptoms include:

  • Chest pain that feels like burning, pressure, or tightness and lasts several minutes or longer
  • Pain elsewhere else in the body, such as the left upper arm or jaw
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden, heavy sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Overwhelming fatigue

What are the risk factors of ACS?

ACS risk factors are similar to those of a heart attack; they include:

  • Older age (older than 45 for men and older than 55 for women)
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Family history of chest pain, heart disease, or stroke

How can one prevent ACS?

  • Don't smoke.
  • Maintain a diet that is low in fat and cholesterol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Check your cholesterol.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage stress.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. 

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