Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction (MI), occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart muscle is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. This blockage is usually caused by a buildup of plaque, a fatty material, in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.

Symptoms of a heart attack can vary but often include:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort, which may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  2. Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath.
  4. Nausea or vomiting.
  5. Light-headedness or dizziness.
  6. Sweating.

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and some people may have atypical symptoms, particularly women and older adults.

If you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, it’s crucial to seek emergency medical attention immediately. Early treatment can help minimize damage to the heart muscle and improve outcomes. Treatment for a heart attack may include medications to dissolve blood clots, procedures to open blocked arteries (such as angioplasty and stenting), and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future heart problems.

Preventive measures to reduce the risk of heart attacks include maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, managing stress, and controlling conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are also essential for monitoring heart health and detecting any potential issues early.

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