The incidence of heart attack results in various complications that can be either short term or long term. The severity of the attack and the resulting complications may not be known immediately. Effects of long-term heart attack depend on the extent to which the heart muscles are damaged when the supply of blood through the arteries has been blocked. If a small part of the heart muscle has been damaged, the heart might start functioning normally after proper treatment. But if the extent of damage is larger, then it might result in fatal complications. Hence careful and close monitoring is mandatory to avoid the risk of complications. Effects of long-term heart attack are as follows.
An excessive abnormal bulging of the artery wall is called aneurysm. Arterial aneurysm occurs due to the increased blood pressure. In several cases the blood vessel may burst and the person shall bleed to death.
The overactive response of the immune system of the body results in pericarditis. An inflammatory response is activated when blood in the pericardial sac or the damaged heart tissue is sensed. Cells in the immune system are engaged in the cleaning of the heart and by mistake, these cells also attack the healthy tissue. Severe chest pain is caused when the pericardium swells and runs on the heart.
Angina is discomfort in the chest due to the decreased supply of blood oxygen to the heart. The reduction in the blood supply is due to the narrowing of arteries. The pain in the chest may also radiate to the arms, neck, back or even the jaws.
The pressure of the oxygen-poor blood in the veins increases, as a result of which the fluid in the blood is forced into the surrounding soft tissues. This results in the swelling of these tissues and this condition is called Oedema. Usually oedema in the legs and ankles occur due to heart attacks.
Heart attack is a brush with death and hence many survivors naturally slip into depression. Depression and heart disease is a dangerous mix because depression triggers the stress hormones like adrenaline which increases blood pressure and heart rate. This results in the damage of inner lining of the heart thereby inducing another heart attack.
* Congestive Heart Failure
The function of the heart is to supply oxygen-rich blood across the body. Congestive Heart failure results when the heart is unable to carry out this function. This condition is caused due to the weakening of heart muscles owing to heart attack.
* Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a warning for all cardiovascular diseases. It is also said to be an early alarm to heart attack which is commonly overlooked by people. High level of cholesterol in blood and increased blood pressure, the two prime reasons for effects of long-term heart attack are also the factors that result in erectile dysfunction.
* Enlarged Heart
In order to beat more effectively, the damaged heart muscle may expand after a heart attack. This weakens the heart muscle to a great extent.