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Myocardial Infarction-Heart attack definition,causes,diagnosis, and convalescing from heart attack.




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What is a heart attack? What causes a
heart attack?
Heart attack is the death of a segment of heart muscle caused by the loss of blood
supply. The blood supply is usually lost because a coronary artery, one that supplies
blood to the heart muscle, has a blood clot, a blockage (coronary thrombosis). If
some of the heart muscle dies, the patient experiences chest pain and electrical
instability of the heart muscle tissue.
Another name for a heart attack is myocardial infarction, cardiac infarction and coronary
thrombosis (Infarction = the process whereby an area of dead tissue is caused by a loss of
blood supply).
Blood supply to the heart can also be undermined if the artery suddenly narrows, as in a
According to research:
During a heart attack the heart muscle that loses its blood supply starts to suffer
How much damage occurs depends on the size of the area that is supplied by the
blocked artery, as well as the lapse in time between injury and treatment.
The damaged heart muscle heals by forming scar tissue. The healing process may
take several weeks.
Despite severe injury to a part of the heart, the rest of the organ carries on
However, as part of the heart has been damaged, it will probably be weaker and
will not pump as much blood as it used to.
With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, further damage can be prevented or
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Chest discomfort, mild pain in younger women(those aged up to 55 years).
Crushing chest pain (see comment above on "mild pain").
Dyspnea (shortness of breath).
Face seems gray.
A feeling of terror that your life is coming to its end.
Feeling really awful (general feeling).
The patient is clammy and sweaty.

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Changing position, resting or lying down does not alleviate the pain. It is typically a
constant pain, but it may sometimes come and go. Patients describe the pain as one of
pressure, like a clamp squeezing inside your chest. The pain can last from a few minutes
to many hours.
Silent heart attack - people with diabetes and/or those over the age of 75 may
experience a "silent heart attack", one with no pain at all.
Heart attack warning signs in women
What are the causes of a heart attack?
Age - the largest risk factor. When a man is over 45 years, and a woman is over
55 years of age, their risk of having a heart attack starts to rise significantly.
Angina -an illness where not enough oxygen is reaching the patient's heart. This
raises the risk of a heart attack. In some cases a diagnosis of angina was wrong - it
could have been a mild heart attack instead. The main difference between a heart
attack and angina is that the patient with angina will feel better about 15 to 30
minutes after taking medication, while the heart attack patient won't.

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Blood cholesterol levels - if a person's blood cholesterol levels are high, he/she
runs a higher risk of developing blood clots in the arteries. Blood clots can block
the supply of blood to the heart muscle, causing a heart attack.
Living near major highways - heart attack survivors who live near major
highways have a 27% higher risk of another heart attack within a decade
compared to survivors who live further away, researchers from the Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center reported in the journal Circulation (May 2012 issue).
Diabetes - people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing several diseases
and conditions, many of them contribute to a higher risk of heart attack.
Diet - a person who consumes large quantities of, for example, animal fats, or
saturated fats, will eventually have a higher risk of having a heart attack.
Gut bacteria can cause heart problems - the action of bacteria in the intestines
on certain compounds contained in digested food, especially lecithin, is linked to
an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic,
Ohio, USA, reported in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine (April 2013
issue). Eggs are rich in lecithin.
Genes - you can inherit a higher risk of heart attack from your parents, and/or
their parents. A person whose sibling died of a heart attack has a higher risk of
suffering a fatal heart attack.
Heart surgery - patients who have had heart surgery have a higher risk of having
a heart attack.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) - this could be due to lack of physical
activity, overweight/obesity, diabetes, genes, and some other factors.
Obesity, overweight - as more and more people are overweight, especially
children, experts believe heart attacks will become more common in future (if the
overweight children become overweight adults).
Physical inactivity - people who do not exercise have a much higher risk of
having a heart attack, compared to people who exercise regularly.
Previous heart attack - anybody who has already had a heart attack is more
likely to have another one, compared to other people.
Smoking - people who smoke heavily or regularly run a much higher risk of heart
attack, compared to people who never smoked and those who gave up. Smoking
regularly means smoking every day.
Being HIV positive - people who are HIV positive have a 50% higher risk of
heart attack.
Work stress - if you have a very demanding job, not much freedom to make
decisions, i.e. a job with a lot of stress, your risk of heart attack is higher-than-
Calcium supplements -Nearly 24,000 people over a ten-year period, suggested
that taking calcium supplements may raise the risk of heart attack.

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Just what I was looking for! Super helpful.