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Home » Diseases » Heart Diseases » What is Heart Attack

What is Heart Attack

Heart attack or, Myocardial Infarction is a common heart problem these days. though, many don't know what is a heart attack and how is actually a heart attack caused. Provided here is a complete guide to heart attack and heart attack causes. So, read on to know what causes heart attack and death due to heart attack.

What is Heart Attack?

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is the death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. Usually, the loss of blood supply is caused by a complete blockage of a coronary artery(an artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle) by a blood clot.

What Causes Heart Attack?

A heart attack is almost always caused by the formation of a blood clot on a cholesterol plaque located on the inner wall of an artery to the heart (coronary artery). It is believed that the process of formation of these plaques starts in the late teens. Over a period of time the accumulation of cholesterol plaque causes thickening of the artery walls and narrowing of the arteries; a process called atherosclerosis.

Many factors have been found to influence this plaque formation. It can be accelerated by smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes. Whereas, factors like exercise, low fat diet, avoiding stress seem to help in retarding this process.

You might also be interested in: Heart Attack First Aid.

what is heart attackUltimately, the arteries narrow to an extent where they are unable to supply enough blood to the heart muscle during periods of increased demand like during exercise or excitement. This results in a condition called ischemia which leads to chest pain called as angina.

Occasionally, however, for unknown reasons, the surface of the cholesterol plaque can become sticky, causing blood clotting. When a blood clot forms on top of this plaque, the artery becomes completely blocked, causing death of the heart muscle (heart attack).

Death Due To Heart Attack

A death due to heart attack suggests loss of blood supply disturbing the orderly transmission of electrical impulses in the heart and thus, stopping the heart to effectively pump blood. Permanent brain damage and death due to heart attack can occur unless oxygenated blood flow is restored within five minutes. Approximately 40% of people suffering a heart attack die before reaching to the hospital. this is the reason why heart attack first aid is considered extremely important.

What are the Features of a Heart Attack?

Pain is the cardinal symptom of a heart attack. The pain is often described as a tightness or heaviness in the chest. It is often severe enough to be the worst pain that can be experienced. the usual location of the pain is in the center of the chest but it frequently radiates to the left arm or the jaw.
Some heart attacks though can pass unrecognized; these painless attacks are called as ‘silent infarcts’ and are particularly common in diabetics. Features of heart attack are:

-Anxiety

-Breathlessness

-Nausea and Vomiting

-Sweating

-Pallor and a Fast Pulse



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