What Are Symptoms of Heart Ischemia?

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Symptoms of heart ischemia, or ischemic cardiomyopathy, include shortness of breath, extreme tiredness or fatigue, fainting, lightheadedness, dizziness, pain and pressure in the chest, weight gain, heart palpitations, edema in the abdomen or feet and legs, sleeping difficulties and cough and congestion that occurs due to the presence of fluid in the lungs, according to Healthline. In its early stages, heart ischemia may cause no symptoms at all; affected individuals may only experience symptoms as the condition progresses with blood flow impairment and narrowing of the arteries.

Heart ischemia is usually caused by a previous heart attack or coronary artery disease. Several factors put people at an increased risk for the condition, including high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse,diabetes and leading a sedentary lifestyle. A family history of heart disease, the presence of hypertension or high blood pressure and diseases that cause buildup of proteins in the organs or body tissues can also increases individual risks. End-stage kidney disease can likewise play a factor in its development.

Men are more prone than women to develop coronary artery disease. However, the gap between men and women closes after women become menopausal. Women who smoke and take oral contraceptives when they are over the age of 35 also have a heightened risk.