Myocardial Infarction, or known as heart attack, is blocked blood supply to the heart muscle. Heart attack implies death of part of the heart muscle after the blockage of blood supply. Myocardial infarction is one of the leading causes of death in the world. It has to be urgently treated, or the consequences can be fatal.
Nowadays, there are many advances in this field so that the mortality rate has dropped.
The symptoms of a heart attack are usually sudden. These are:
- strong pain and feeling of a heavy weight in the chest; the pain can spread to the neck and arms
- paleness and heavy cold sweating
- lack of oxygen
- nausea, and sometimes vomiting
- discomfort, fear of death
Symptoms of a heart attack may vary from a person to person. Some people do have warning signs days before the heart attack, like chest pains. Some get sudden severe pains. Men and women are said to have different symptoms.
The cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, when coronary arteries that feed the heart with oxygen-rich blood, become narrower. The narrowing is mostly due to atherosclerosis, where fatty plaques, or substances like cholesterol, accumulate on the coronary artery wall. The build up plaques may become thicker and rupture. Then, platelets are stuck to these ruptures or damaged areas, which may incidentally form a blood clot. When the clot is formed, it may completely block the blood flow in the artery, which brings to a heart attack.
Other causes are: coronary artery spasm, use of illicit drugs, or tear in the heart artery
The risk factors of heart attack are:
- High cholesterol or high tryglicerides
- Family history
- Medical conditions like: diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis
- Illegal drugs
The complication of a heart attack is restoring the regular heartbeat after the heart attack, which can be life-threatening and lead to cardiac arrest. Regular heart beat can be long-term, especially if a big part of the heart muscle was affected by the heart attack. Other complications are:
- damaged function of pumping
- heart insufficiency
- mitral insufficiency
- septum defect
Prevention should be in line with keeping healthy lifestyle: healthy, low-fat diet, no smoking, reduce stress, exercise, and regular control of your health. Medications can be used to keep under control the possible risk factors for heart attack, such as high cholesterol.