A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the heart muscle begins to die. More than one million Americans have heart attacks each year and, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States.
Heart attacks normally occur as the result of coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is a condition in which plaque, a waxy substance, builds up over time inside the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. When plaque builds up over the course of several years, the condition is called atherosclerosis.
In time, an area of the plaque inside the artery can break open. This rupture causes a blood clot to form on the plaque’s surface. If the blood clot is big enough, it can completely block blood flow to the rest of the heart, causing heart tissue damage.
Signs of a Heart Attack
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:
- Chest pain – Discomfort in the center or the left side of the chest may indicate a heart attack. Specifically, the feeling of pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain is a common sign of heart attack. Sometimes, a heart attack can feel similar to heartburn or indigestion.
- Upper body discomfort – Pain in one or both arms, the shoulders, back, neck, or jaw can indicate a heart attack.
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Fatigue – tiredness that lasts for days
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms and are surprised to learn they did, in fact, have a heart attack.
Heart Attack Risk Factors
When it comes to heart attacks there are factors that you can control and factors you cannot control. Controllable factors include: smoking; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; obesity; an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium; lack of exercise; and high blood sugar.
Obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar tend to occur together. Combined, they are called metabolic syndrome. Those who have metabolic syndrome are twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times more likely to develop diabetes.
Uncontrollable risk factors include: age (men over age 45 and women over age 55); family history of early heart disease; and preeclampsia, a condition developed during pregnancy that begins as a rise in blood pressure and excess protein in the urine.
Low Testosterone and Heart Attacks
Another controllable risk factor for heart attack is the use of prescription testosterone products. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that naturally occurs in men and women. Levels of testosterone are 7 to 8 times more present in men than women. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male reproductive tissue.
Symptoms of low testosterone include erectile dysfunction, infertility, fatigue, decreased libido, and decreased body hair and muscle mass. A decrease in testosterone production occurs naturally as men age; however, testosterone deficiency can also occur due to testicular dysfunction.
Men suffering from low testosterone, or Low T, commonly seek medical treatment from doctors. Doctors may prescribe hormone replacement therapy drugs, which help regulate testosterone levels. If you suffer from Low T and seek medical treatment, you may be prescribed one or more of the following testosterone drugs:
These drugs can be taken orally as a pill, applied as a cream, absorbed through a patch, injected into the muscle or implanted under the skin.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of testosterone drugs, they issued a warning in January 2014 about the increased risk of heart attack and stroke associated with testosterone use. The FDA now requires all testosterone hormone replacement therapies to include a label warning users of the increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Further, the FDA is requiring manufacturers of testosterone hormone replacement drugs to conduct a “well-designed clinical trial” to clearly address whether their products cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The FDA showed concern after a study completed in January 2014 showed that men under the age of 65 with pre-existing heart disease were twice as likely to suffer a non-fatal heart attack shortly after the start of their testosterone treatment.
Low T Lawsuits
Days after the FDA issued its safety warning, five men between the ages of 50 and 63 filed Low T lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories, makers of Androgel, in a federal court in Chicago. Three of the men suffered heart attacks, one suffered a stroke, and the fifth suffered a mini-stroke. The men accuse Abbott of lying to consumers by using aggressive and deceptive marketing practices that exaggerated the need for the drug while downplaying its serious side effects.
Low T Lawyer
If you are currently undergoing treatments for low testosterone or testosterone therapy, you are urged to consult with your doctor as soon as possible about emerging research demonstrating the increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, if you or a loved one has been harmed by exposure to testosterone products, please contact a pharmaceutical Low T lawyer immediately.
We are in the process of investigating legal claims for men who have experienced cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke as well as injury to women and children who inadvertently came into contact with creams or gel. Call our legal team at 314-409-7060 or 855-55-BAD-DRUG (toll free). We’re standing by to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.