Understanding Heart Attack a.k.a. Myocardial Infarction (MI)

If you have any chest pain that is new or unusual, ALWAYS seek immediate medical attention! Call 911. Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you.
If you are with someone who is having chest pain, do NOT listen to them if they refuse medical attention as denial and embarrassment are signs of something very wrong going on. Call 911.
Most heart attacks are the result of coronary artery disease, also known as atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries,” a condition that clogs coronary arteries with fatty, calcified plaques over time. The typical trigger for a heart attack is often a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery. Small plaque ruptures can cause a serious or fatal heart attack.

Go to this is a great video of what happens during an MI.

Risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle: less than 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise
  • Unhealthy diet: eating foods that contain any trans fats, high amounts of saturated fats, high levels of sodium.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL and triglyceride levels
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Stress
  • Age (over 45 for men and over 55 for women)
  • Family history (If any immediate family members—parents, brothers, sisters—have had a heart attack, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.)

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women.


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