Find over 200 print-friendly fact sheets about heart disease and related health topics.
Learn more about medical tests: how they work, what the results mean, and how heart conditions are diagnosed.
STEMI and NSTEMI are two classifications for a heart attack. Although both result from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, STEMI results in ST-elevation (elevation of a cardiac enzyme) while NSTEMI does not. Unstable angina, on the other hand, is a condition characterized by chest pain or discomfort that is unexpected and usually occurs at rest. Unstable angina is often accompanied by shortness of breath, indigestion and/or dizziness. Unlike STEMI and NSTEMI, which cause muscle damage in the heart, unstable angina is not associated with muscle damage. However, unstable angina is very dangerous, may progress to a heart attack, and needs emergency treatment.
Unstable angina and NSTEMI often appear identical at first presentation. The difference can be ascertained only after an ECG and blood tests to look for markers that indicate heart muscle damage.
Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have the following symptoms:
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How do home blood pressure monitors work?
There are two main types of home blood pressure monitors that patients can use to track their blood pressure on their own—manual and automatic. Manual blood pressure monitors are similar to those that doctors might use to take your blood pressure, while automatic monitors are electronic monitors that can report your numbers digitally and even integrate with other digital health tools. Both can be very easy to use and useful in helping monitor blood pressure in between doctor visits.
How do I know if I have peripheral artery disease (PAD)?
Can children improve their HRR?
Am I at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
How are liprotein-a levels tested?
Do radiation risks associated with medical tests often outweigh the benefits?
Is it worth the radiation risk to have angioplasty and stenting?
In a word, yes. Skilled interventional cardiologists perform coronary procedures only when the benefits outweigh the overall risks, including any risks from radiation exposure. Keep in mind, we’re all exposed to radiation from the atmosphere as we go about our everyday lives. Background radiation comes to about 3 to 4 “milliSieverts” (mSv) a year. By comparison, the radiation dose from cardiology procedures such as cardiac catheterization and angioplasty is about 1 to 10 mSv. Still, it is important to talk with your doctor about plans for minimizing radiation dose as much as possible.
How important is immediate medical attention after a heart attack or stroke?
How is a heart attack diagnosed?
How does telemedicine work?
How is heart failure diagnosed?
How is Heart Rate Recovery measured?
How is pre-diabetes diagnosed?
How is Peripheral Arterial Disease diagnosed?
PAD is diagnosed based on general medical and family history, history of leg or heart problems, personal risk factors, a physical exam, and test results. An accurate diagnosis is critical, because people with PAD face a six to seven times higher risk of heart disease or stroke than the rest of the population. PAD is often diagnosed after symptoms are reported with a simple test called an Ankle-brachial index (ABI) If you have PAD, your doctor also may want to look for signs of coronary artery disease (CAD).
A simple test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI) can be used to diagnose PAD. The ABI compares blood pressure in the ankle with blood pressure in the arm to see how well blood is flowing. A normal ABI is 1.0 or greater (with a range of 0.90 to 1.30). The test takes about 10–15 minutes to measure both arms and both ankles. It can help the doctor find out if PAD is affecting the legs, but it will not identify which blood vessels are blocked. The ABI can be performed yearly if necessary to see if the disease is getting worse.
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