How It Happens A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked due to fatty material building up in the arteries and eventually closing them off. This process is called atherosclerosis , or “hardening of the arteries.” As a result, the heart becomes badly damaged due to tissue death from lack of oxygen. Common Symptoms Chest Pain, usually radiating toward the left shoulder and arm. The arm may be tingling or numb. Nausea, vomiting Cold sweats, shortness of breath and lightheadedness Feeling of indigestion Dizziness, weakness, and fainting Abdominal pain If you believe you are experiencing a heart attack, call 911 or contact your emergency response system immediately. Learn more about heart attack symptoms. Why It Happens There are many contributing factors that can to heart attack. Some factors can be controlled, such as lifestyle choices, including: Cholesterol Blood pressure Exercise Healthy Diet Smoking Controlling other health conditions ...
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Definition A heart attack is when blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are blocked, preventing enough oxygen from getting to the heart. The heart muscle dies or becomes permanently damaged. Your doctor calls this a myocardial infarction. Alternative Names Myocardial infarction; MI; Acute MI; ST-elevation myocardial infarction; non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction Causes, incidence, and risk factors Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart starves for oxygen and heart cells die. In atherosclerosis , plaque builds up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells. A heart attack can occur as a result of the following: The slow buildup of plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries. A heart attack may occur if not enough oxygen-containing blood can flow through this blockage. This is mo...
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