Tag Archives: Risk

Heart Attacks – Causes and Risk Factors

Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

An experienced emergency physician, Dr. Zachary Lutsky is trained to provide lifesaving care to patients undergoing heart attacks and other urgent health events, as he did during his service at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In preparation for his career, Dr. Zachary Lutsky underwent his emergency medicine residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in nearby Torrance.

A heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood supplied by the coronary arteries is blocked or reduced, imperiling heart function. If enough damage occurs, the heart goes into arrest, which can quickly lead to death. Patients with coronary artery disease have a buildup on the artery wall called plaque, made up of fat, proteins and other material. When the plaque cracks, the body sends blood-clotting factors to the site. The resulting clot can interrupt blood flow to the heart, giving rise to a heart attack. Coronary artery spasms, a less common cause,also interrupt blood flow to the heart.

Some risk factors for heart attack include uncontrollable issues like age and family history. However, many other factors are related to lifestyle and can be addressed by changes in behavior, like quitting smoking, adopting a healthier diet, and exercising.

Weight Loss Surgery May Reduce the Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

Weight Loss Surgery pic
Weight Loss Surgery
Image: webmd.com

An emergency medicine physician practicing in Southern California, Zachary Lutsky, MD, has several years of experience working in trauma centers, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Santa Clara Medical center and Harbor UCLA. At such facilities, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has diagnosed and treated patients experiencing strokes and heart attacks.

According to recent research, obesity surgery for patients with type-2 diabetes dramatically reduces their risk of strokes and heart attacks. In fact, weight loss surgery is linked to a 40 percent decrease in the chance of having a stroke or heart attack in the first five years following the procedure.

Researchers discovered this link by tracking roughly 20,000 patients who were severely obese and had type-2 diabetes. These patients were found in records from four major health care systems in the United States: Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, Southern California, and Washington, and HealthPartners in Minnesota. They all had a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35, and researchers attempted to group them together by age, gender, blood sugar levels, and other factors.

Of the total group, over 5,300 patients underwent surgery and roughly 15,000 patients received the regular care of insulin or diabetes medicines. Those who had surgery experienced fewer strokes and heart attacks than patients who received regular diabetes care.

Although researchers cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between weight loss surgery and the risk of stroke and heart attack, the suggestion that the two may be related indicates that weight loss surgery should at least be a more frequent discussion among patients and their physicians.