Acute myocardial infarction: What causes a heart attack? | Health - Hindustan Times
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Acute myocardial infarction: What causes a heart attack? Know these risk factors

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 11, 2024 04:34 PM IST

Acute myocardial infarction or a heart attack is usually the result of a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries but what causes this blockage?

Acute myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack, happens when the heart muscle's blood supply is suddenly interrupted, resulting in tissue damage. This is usually the result of a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries.

Acute myocardial infarction: What causes a heart attack? Know these risk factors (Photo by Pixabay)
Acute myocardial infarction: What causes a heart attack? Know these risk factors (Photo by Pixabay)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bharat Kukreti, Director and Unit Head- Cardiology at Paras Health in Gurugram, explained, “A blockage may arise from a sudden blood clot that forms on the obstruction or from a buildup of plaque, which is primarily composed of fat, cholesterol, and cellular waste materials.”

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What are the symptoms?

Dr Bharat Kukreti revealed that although breathlessness and chest pain are the typical signs of a heart attack, there can be a wide range of symptoms and the following are the most typical signs of a heart attack:

1- chest pressure or tightness

2- chest, back, jaw, and other upper body discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes or disappears and returns

3- nausea

4- vomiting

5- anxiety

6- shortness of breath

7- sweating

8- heart palpitations

9- sudden loss of consciousness

Dr Bharat Kukreti asserted that it is crucial to remember that not everyone who suffers a heart attack has the same symptoms or the same intensity of symptoms. The most prevalent symptom that both men and women report having is chest pain but compared to males, women are slightly more likely to experience more of the "atypical" symptoms, like:

1- breathing difficulties, jaw ache, and upper back pain

2- dizziness

3- feeling sick and throwing up

Acute myocardial infarction: what causes it?

Dr Bharat Kukreti answered, “A heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction, happens when the blood vessels carrying oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle get blocked or narrowed. These vessels are called coronary arteries and when they can't deliver enough blood to the heart due to a buildup of plaque, it can lead to a heart attack. Plaque is like a fatty substance that can clog up the arteries. So, when the blood flow is reduced or stopped, it causes damage to the heart muscle, and that's what we call a heart attack. It is important to keep these arteries healthy to ensure that the heart gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly.”

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