Heart Attack, Causes and Symptoms


It occurs when blood vessels provisioning the heart are blocked, preventing appropriate oxygen to this organ. The heart muscle dies or is permanently injured. Doctors call this a myocardial infarction.


Most heart attacks are caused by a clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries that give blood and oxygen to the heart. If blood flow is blocked, the heart starves for oxygen and heart cells collapse. In atherosclerosis, plaque, which is composed of cholesterol and other cells, accumulates in the walls of the coronary arteries. A heart attack can happen as a result of the upcoming:

  1. The gradual buildup of plaque can nearly lock one of his coronary arteries.
  2. A heart attack can come up if not enough oxygenated blood can flow through this occlusion, which can occur when you are more likely to exercise.
  3. The plaque itself develops fissures (cracks) or ruptures.
  4. Blood platelets adhere these ruptures, forming a blood clot (thrombus).
  5. A heart attack can occur if the blood clot wholly blocks the displacement of oxygenated blood to the heart.
  6. At times, abrupt overwhelming stress can trigger a heart attack.

Risk factors for developing coronary artery disease and heart attack include:

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Too much fat in the dietAdvanced age (65 years)
  • Male sex
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of coronary artery disease (genetic or hereditary factors)
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels, essentially LDL (”bad”) cholesterol and low HDL (”good”)
  • Chronic kidney disease



Chest pain is a major symptom of heart attack. You can feel the pain in only one body part or may propagate from the chest to the arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, back or abdominal region. The pain may be extreme or soft and can feel like:

  1. A tight band around the chest
  2. IndigestionSomething large sitting on your chest
  3. Squeezing or abundant pressure

The pain usually lasts more than 20 minutes and is entirely relieved by rest or a medicine called nitroglycerin. The symptoms may fade away and come back. Other symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cough
  • Anxiety
  • Fainting
  • Sweating, which may be extreme
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is beating too fast)
  • Difficulty breathing

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