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What's the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?

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Following in her father’s footsteps, the singer-songwriter reportedly suffered from heart complications. It was on Thursday morning when Lisa fell ill at her home in Calabasas, Southern California. Her 77-year-old mother, Priscilla, said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us.

“She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss.”

According to TMZ, Lisa suffered from a cardiac arrest, food interactions with accutane which is when the heart suddenly stops working.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) highlights the key signs of a cardiac arrest, in which a person will collapse suddenly and be unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing normally.

“Without immediate treatment, the person will die,” the BHF warns. “If you see someone having a cardiac arrest, phone 999 immediately and start CPR.”

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What leads to a cardiac arrest?

The BHF says “a cardiac arrest is caused by a dangerous abnormal heart rhythm, which happens when the electrical system in the heart isn’t working properly”.

Certain conditions can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, such as:

  • Cardiomyopathies (disease of the heart muscle)
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • Severe or untreated myocarditis.

Other causes of a cardiac arrest include:

  • A heart attack (often caused by coronary heart disease)
  • A severe haemorrhage (losing a large amount of blood)
  • Hypoxia – a severe drop in oxygen levels
  • Electrocution
  • A drug overdose.

The main difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest

Elvis died from a heart attack, which the BHF describes as a “circulation problem”.

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is restricted, which is often caused by a blood clot in one of the arteries.

Meanwhile, a cardiac arrest is considered an “electrical” issue whereby the heart stops working.

Aside from death, there can be extreme health complications following a cardiac arrest.

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After effects can include permanent brain injury, problems with speech and language, or personality changes.

Can you reduce your risk of a cardiac arrest?

To help minimise the risk of a cardiac arrest, adhering to a healthy lifestyle is recommended.

A healthy lifestyle involves eating a healthy diet, being a non-smoker, drinking alcohol only moderately (or not at all), being physically active and taking any prescribed medication.

The BHF adds: “You’re able to get an NHS Health Check for your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and other issues if you live in England.”

The NHS Health check involves a health practitioner taking note of your height and weight.

Your blood pressure would also be taken, and a blood test for cholesterol, blood sugar, and liver function will be taken.

“You’ll be given a cardiovascular disease risk score, which is an estimate of how likely you are to get heart disease or have a stroke in the next 10 years,” the NHS says.

“You’ll also find out your possible risk of developing kidney disease and diabetes.”

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