Heart Attack

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the flow of blood that carries oxygen to part of the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. Your heart can’t get enough oxygen. If blood flow is not restored quickly, the heart muscle will begin to die.

Heart attacks are very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800,000 people in the United States have a heart attack each year.

A heart attack is not the same as cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. A heart attack can cause sudden cardiac arrest.

Most heart attacks are caused by coronary artery disease. Your age, lifestyle habits, and other medical conditions can increase your risk of having a heart attack.

If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 right away. Acting fast can save your life. The longer the heart goes without enough oxygen, the more damage is done to the heart muscle.

What does a heart attack start like?

Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or may go away and then come back.

Another form may include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach with shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.

Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or dizziness.

Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience these signs.

Kind of heart attack

The types of heart attacks are:

Heart attacks (STEMI): An ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a severe form of myocardial infarction in which a coronary artery is completely blocked and a large part of the heart muscle cannot receive blood. “ST segment elevation” refers to a pattern that appears on an electrocardiogram (EKG).

Heart attacks (NSTEMI): A non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is a type of heart attack that does not show a change in ST-segment elevation on an electrocardiogram and results in fewer damage to the patient’s heart. However, these patients will test positive for a protein called troponin in the blood that is released from the heart muscle when it becomes damaged. In NSTEMI heart attacks, coronary artery blockages are likely to be partial or temporary.

Coronary artery spasm: A coronary artery spasm is when the wall of the artery tightens and the flow of blood through the artery is restricted, which can lead to chest pain or blood flow is interrupted by complete, causing a heart attack. Coronary artery spasm comes and goes. Because there may not be a buildup of plaque or a blood clot in the artery, a coronary artery spasm may not be discovered by an imaging test called an angiogram which is usually done to check for blockages in the arteries.

Demand Ischemia: Demand ischemia is another type of heart attack in which there may be no blockages in the arteries. It occurs when a patient’s heart needs more oxygen than is available in the body’s supply. It can occur in patients with infection, anemia, or tachyarrhythmias (abnormally fast heart rate). Blood tests will show the presence of enzymes that indicate damage to the heart muscle.

Cardiac arrest (not a heart attack): In cardiac arrest, a person’s heart stops beating. Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, but it is worth discussing along with heart attack. Cardiac arrest can occur due to a heart attack, but cardiac arrest can also occur as a primary event. In other words, cardiac arrest can also occur for reasons other than a blockage in the artery. These other reasons include electrolyte disturbances, such as low or high potassium or low magnesium, congenital abnormalities, or poor heart pumping function.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

Here are 8 warning signs that your body gives you before a heart attack:

  • Uncomfortable pressure or pain in the center of the chest.
  • Pain in other areas of the body such as the back, shoulders, arms, neck or jaw.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness along with chest pain and shortness of breath can mean a decrease in blood volume and a drop in blood pressure.
  • Feeling exhausted after a sleepless night or stressful day is normal, but you can feel fatigued a month before you have a heart attack.
  • Nausea or indigestion, these gastric symptoms such as upset stomach, vomiting, or belching develop when the heart and other areas of the body do not receive enough blood supply.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat or sweating excessively could indicate a heart attack.
  • The feeling of heart palpitations. The heart can start to become irritated when it lacks nutrient-filled blood, leading to palpitations.
  • Difficulty breathing.

What causes a heart attack?

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of heart attacks. Coronary heart disease is a condition in which the coronary arteries (the main blood vessels that supply blood to the heart) become clogged with cholesterol deposits. These deposits are called plates.

Before a heart attack, one of the plaques ruptures (bursts), causing a blood clot to form at the site of the rupture. The clot can block the blood supply to the heart and trigger a heart attack.

Heart attack prevention

10 things you can do to prevent a heart attack:

  1. It is important to check your blood pressure regularly.
  2. Keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control.
  3. Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of heart disease.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Try to limit saturated fat, foods high in sodium, and added sugars.
  5. Get regular exercise. Exercise has many benefits, including strengthening the heart and improving circulation.
  6. Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
  7. Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and increases your risk of heart attack.
  8. Manage stress. Stress is linked to heart disease in many ways.
  9. Control diabetes. Having diabetes doubles the risk of diabetic heart disease.
  10. Make sure you get enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you increase your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

We currently have the following clinical trials for the study of Heart Attack. If you are interested, you can view the trials that are currently open. You will be paid for your time 👇


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