Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction (MI), occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. This typically happens due to a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle.

Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort, often described as pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest that may spread to the neck, jaw, back, shoulders, or arms.
  2. Shortness of breath.
  3. Nausea or vomiting.
  4. Sweating.
  5. Light-headedness or fainting.
  6. Fatigue.

Risk factors for heart attacks include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity, diabetes, family history of heart disease, and age (risk increases with age).

Immediate medical attention is crucial if you suspect a heart attack. Treatment for a heart attack often involves medications to relieve pain and stabilize the heart, procedures such as angioplasty to open blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes to prevent 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 like high blood pressure and diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can also help monitor and manage risk factors for heart disease.

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