: Many are not aware that the common gastric and shoulder pain actually signals the risk of heart disease.
Penang Pantai Hospital Interventional Cardiology Consultant, Dr Liew Chee Tat said most people are only aware that the symptom of a heart attack is chest pain.
"In fact, there are many signs to detect if we are at risk of heart disease.
"Chest pain is not the only symptom. For some, it is gastric pain or heartburn, shoulder pain or even toothache are signs of a heart failure," he told Bernama
when met at the launch of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Ward at Penang Pantai Hospital here Saturday.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng officiated the ceremony.
Dr Liew said only 50 percent of individuals could detect symptoms of heart disease from chest pains while another 50 percent were from symptoms of heartburn, shoulder pain and toothache.
"If a young woman suffers gastric pain, it may not be a heart problem but if an elderly person who smokes, suffers diabetes, has high blood pressure and high cholesterol suddenly gets gastric pain, we must examine her for the possibility of a heart disease," he said.
Dr Liew also advised the public to adopt a healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking, exercise, eat less sweet and high cholesterol food to prevent heart disease.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Dr Liew said coronary artery disease is the number one killer disease worldwide and locally.
"One of the main presentation of coronary artery disease is heart attack. Heart attack is caused by disruption of blood flow to the heart muscle due to complete occlusion of the artery by blood clot," he said.
He said another important contributing factor to higher mortality could be late presentation to hospital equipped with facilities to provide emergency treatment to patients with heart attack.
"Many international studies have undoubtedly proven that during heart attack, time is the most crucial factor in saving patients lives, if the patient is treated in the golden hour (the first hour) of presentation of heart attack, the mortality rate is very low, most of the muscles deprived of blood supply can be salvaged. Hence, they coined the term 'Time is Muscle'," he said.