The symptoms of cardiovascular collapse are immediate and severe, and include a lack of pulse, a loss of consciousness and an inability to breathe, as stated by the Mayo Clinic. Some other symptoms are not as common, and include fatigue, blackouts, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, vomiting and palpitations. While there are several symptoms to look out for, more often than not, cardiovascular collapse happens without any warning at all.
Cardiovascular collapse can be caused by arrhythmia, an abnormality in the heart rhythm, problems that arise from electrical flow of the heart's pacemaker and other heart conditions like cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease.
The symptoms that are associated with cardiovascular collapse are also associated with coronary heart disease. Since cardiovascular collapse often happens without any warning, understanding the factors that increase risk can help determine whether additional precautions and medical attention is needed. These factors include:
- a family history of coronary heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- a sedentary lifestyle
- excessive alcohol consumption
- the use of illegal drugs
- nutritional imbalance like low potassium and magnesium levels.
In addition, men tend to be more at risk of cardiovascular collapse in comparison to women. The risk also increases with age.