Nationally Recognized Heart Hospital
Dallas   Fort Worth

Find a Physician

Advanced Search

The Effects of Heart & Vascular Disease

In the beginning, heart disease has no symptoms. You can't see or feel plaque build up on the walls of your arteries. When the plaque buildup begins to affect the flow of blood to your heart or brain, the results can be serious. You may experience angina, heart attack or stroke.

Symptoms of Angina and Heart Attack

Angina occurs when your coronary arteries are severely blocked. Although scary, angina does not cause permanent damage. A heart attack occurs when one or more coronary arteries are completely blocked. A heart attack causes permanent damage to the heart muscle and can be fatal.

How to know if it's Angina or a Heart Attack

Angina Symptoms:

  • Go away with rest
  • Do not last more than 20 minutes
  • Occur with exertion or excitement

Inform your physician if you have signs of angina.

Heart Attack Symptoms:

  • Do not go away with rest
  • Last more than 20 minutes
  • May occur without activity or excitement

If a Heart Attack Has Occurred:

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG), a medical device that graphically depicts the heart's electrical activity history, will reveal abnormalities caused by damage to the heart
  • A blood test will show abnormal levels of certain enzymes in the bloodstream
  • A person with diabetes typically does not have the same chest pain symptoms as a non-diabetic

What is a Stroke

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain becomes blocked or bursts. This prevents the brain from getting needed nutrients and oxygen.

Stroke Warning Signs:

  • Numbness of the face, arm or leg; especially on one side of the body
  • Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Behavioral Effects:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty in problem-solving
  • Personality Changes

Call 911 immediately if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.

Click here for a printable copy of this page

Adobe Acrobat Reader needed to view printable copy. Click HERE to get it.

« Back to Take the Journey contents.