Heart attack : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is a Heart attack?

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage can be caused by a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the arteries that feed the heart (coronary arteries).

A plaque can burst and form a clot that blocks blood flow. If this happens, it can damage or destroy part of the heart muscle.

What is a Heart attack?
Heart attack

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 or emergency medical help. Heart attacks can be fatal, but treatment has improved in recent years. If you notice any of the following signs, call for help immediately: chest pain that is severe and does not go away with rest; shortness of breath; sweating; nausea or vomiting; dizziness or lightheadedness.

  1. Circulatory system

  1. Heart

  2. Arteries

  3. Veins

  4. Blood vessels

Medical terms

  • Heart attacks — conjointly known as heart muscle infarctions — are quite common within the us. In fact, one happens each forty secondsTrusted supply, in line with the Centers for unwellness management and bar (CDC).

  • Chest pain is the most typical serious warning call of an attack. However there may be alternative symptoms, too, like lightheadedness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may be severe or delicate, and area units typically completely different from one person to succeeding. Some individuals might not even notice any warning signs of an attack.

  • This article can better examine the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of an attack, furthermore as however an attack is diagnosed and treated.

  • An attack happens once blood flow to the guts is blocked or discontinued. If there’s not adequate oxygen-rich blood flowing to the guts, it will cause harm to the affected space. As a result, the guts muscle begins to die.

  • When your heart isn’t obtaining the blood and atomic number 8 it has to perform properly, it will place you at a better risk of heart condition and alternative serious complications.

  • An attack could be a life threatening medical emergency. the earlier you'll get medical treatment that restores traditional blood flow to your heart, the higher your likelihood of a made outcome.

  • An attack, conjointly known as a MI, happens once a region of the guts muscle doesn’t get enough blood.

  • The longer that passes while not treating to revive blood flow, the larger the harm to the guts muscle.

Coronary artery unwellness (CAD) is the main explanation for the attack. A less common cause could be a severe spasm, or fulminant contraction, of an arterial blood vessel which will stop blood flow to the guts muscle.

Symptoms Heart attack 

Some common signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • The pressure in your chest or arms may cause a pain or aching sensation that can spread to your neck, jaw, and back.

  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain are symptoms that may indicate a problem.

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cold sweat

  • Fatigue

  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

Heart attack symptoms vary

Not all people who have a heart attack will have the same symptoms or degree of severity. Some people may experience mild pain; others may experience more severe pain. Some people may experience no symptoms at all. For others, the first sign may be sudden cardiac arrest. However, if you have more signs and symptoms, your condition is more serious. If you have a heart attack, your chance of survival is low.

Many people experience warning signs and symptoms hours, days, or weeks in advance before a heart attack. The earliest sign might be recurrent chest pain or pressure that is relieved by rest. Angina is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the heart. The heart is located in the chest.

When to see a doctor

If you think someone has food poisoning, take action right away. Some signs that someone may have food poisoning include being sick, having a fever, and vomiting.

  • Call for emergency medical help.If you think you're having a heart attack, don't hesitate.If you are experiencing a medical emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911. If you can't go to an emergency room, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital.
    Don't drive yourself if there are other options. It's dangerous to do so, especially since your condition can worsen.

  • If you are prescribed nitroglycerin by a doctor, take it as directed.Follow the instructions while awaiting emergency help.

  • Take aspirin, if recommended.Taking aspirin during a heart attack could decrease heart damage by preventing blood from clotting.
    Aspirin can interact with other medications, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications. Don't take aspirin unless your doctor tells you to do so. Also, don't delay calling 911 in case of an emergency. Call first and then contact your doctor.

If you see someone who might be having a heart attack, what should you do?

If you see someone who is unconscious and seems to be having a heart attack, first call for emergency medical help. Then check to see if the person is breathing and has a pulse. If the person is not breathing or does not have a pulse, only then should you begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) requires pressing hard and fast on the person's chest. Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

If you haven't been trained in CPR, doctors recommend performing only chest compressions. If you have been trained in CPR, you can go on to providing assistance with breathing and opening the airway.

Causes Heart attack 

A heart attack occurs when one or more of your coronary arteries become blocked. This blockage can cause a buildup of fatty deposits, including cholesterol, which can narrow the arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition is called coronary artery disease and it is the most common cause of heart attacks.

During a heart attack, a plaque can break and release cholesterol and other substances into the bloodstream. A blood clot can form at the site of the rupture. If the clot is large, it can block blood flow through the coronary artery, starving the heart of oxygen and nutrients (anemia).

A blockage of the coronary artery can occur.

  • A blockage means you've had a heart attack.

  • A partial blockage means you've had a heart attack not caused by a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Different diagnosis and treatment might be required based on the type of pneumonia you have.

A heart attack can be caused by a spasm of a coronary artery, which blocks blood flow to part of the heart muscle. Smoking and using illicit drugs like cocaine can cause this life-threatening event.

If you get infected with COVID-19, your heart may be damaged in ways that lead to a heart attack.

Risk factors Heart attack 

There are several factors that contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits (atherosclerosis) that can narrow your arteries. You can reduce or eliminate many of these risk factors to decrease your chances of having a heart attack for the first time.

Heart attack risk factors include:

  • Age.Men and women over the age of 45 are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women.

  • Tobacco.This includes smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke over a long period of time.

  • High blood pressure.High blood pressure can damage arteries that lead to your heart. This is especially true if the high blood pressure is accompanied by other conditions, such as obesity, high cholesterol, or diabetes. This increases your risk for heart disease even more.

  • High levels of blood cholesterol or triglycerides.A high level of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, LDL) is most likely to narrow your arteries. A high level of triglycerides, a type of blood fat related to your diet, also increases your risk of a heart attack. However, a high level of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, HDL) can protect you from a heart attack.Cholesterol (a type of) may decrease your risk.

  • Obesity.Obesity is associated with high blood cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. Losing just 10% of your body weight can lower this risk.

  • Diabetes.If you don't produce enough of a hormone produced by your pancreas (insulin) or if your body doesn't respond to insulin properly, your blood sugar levels will rise, increasing your risk of a heart attack.

  • Metabolic syndrome.Metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases the risk of heart disease. Having this syndrome makes you two times as likely to experience heart problems as someone who does not have it.

  • Family history of heart attacks.If one of your parents or grandparents had an early heart attack before the age of 55 for men or the age of 65 for women, you might be at an increased risk.

  • Lack of physical activity.Regular exercise helps reduce high blood cholesterol levels and obesity. People who are physically inactive tend to have worse heart health, including higher blood pressure.

  • Stress.Stress can increase the risk of a heart attack.

  • Illicit drug useA heart attack can occur if you take stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, which can cause a spasm of your coronary arteries.

  • A history of preeclampsia.This condition increases the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy and increases the lifetime risk of heart disease.

  • An autoimmune condition.People with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus are at an increased risk for heart attacks.

Complications Heart attack

Complications often result from the damage done to your heart during a heart attack, which can lead to:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).Electrical short circuits can cause abnormal heart rhythms that can be serious and may lead to death.

  • Heart failure.If you have a heart attack, it might damage so much heart tissue that the remaining muscle can't pump enough blood out of your heart. This can lead to heart failure, which can be temporary or a chronic condition caused by extensive damage to your heart.

  • Sudden cardiac arrest.Your heart can stop because of an electrical disturbance that causes an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). This increases your risk for a heart attack, which can result in death without prompt treatment.

Can you stop a heart attack once it starts?

No A heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart muscle is suddenly blocked This deprives that part of the heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients so it becomes damaged or dies An MI can occur if plaque buildup in your coronary arteries narrows the artery enough to slow or stop blood flow Plaque usually doesn’t form on its own; instead it forms because you have poor lifestyle habits—such as smoking cigarettes and being overweight—and a family history of cardiovascular disease You play an active role in preventing MIs by making positive changes.

Can drinking water prevent heart attacks?

Your heart needs a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood in order to survive And as more and more people realize in order for your body to get that supply you need to make sure you are drinking enough water each day In fact there is experimental evidence that shows that simply drinking one glass of water will actually help treat angina pectoris (chronic chest pain) by reducing the blood pressure on the artery that leads directly to the heart muscle.

Which drink is best for the heart?

Water is best for heart as it contains no calories and helps your body to flush out excess salt and toxins Coffee also provides you with a number of health benefits including raising your blood pressure and cholesterol levels which makes your heart work harder Tea is also considered good for the cardiovascular system An additional benefit of tea is its ability to lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body Drink green tea especially when having a meal; studies show that this can help prevent strokes and heart attacks among smokers and non-smokers alike Unlike coffee caffeine in green tea won't cause an increase in blood pressure or make you.

What food makes your heart stronger?

The food that will help the heart to be stronger must contain a lot of vitamin B1 B2 and B6 They are all nutrients which help in maintaining the integrity of red blood cells There are also certain spices and herbs that you can use to prepare foods for strengthening the heart Some of them include niacin garlic cinnamon black pepper oregano leaves and thyme.

Prevention Heart attack

Even if you have had a heart attack, it's never too late to take steps to prevent another one. Here are some ways to stay safe:

  • Medications.Taking medications can help reduce your risk of a subsequent heart attack and improve the function of your damaged heart. Continue to take the medications prescribed by your doctor and be regularly monitored.

  • Lifestyle factors.To maintain a healthy weight and heart health, follow these steps: Eat a heart-healthy diet, don't smoke, exercise regularly, manage stress, and control conditions that can lead to a heart attack.

Diagnosis Heart attack 

Your doctor should screen you for risk factors that can lead to a heart attack during regular physical exams.

If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, you will be asked about your symptoms and have your blood pressure and temperature checked. You will be connected to a heart monitor and have tests to determine if you are experiencing a heart attack.

To diagnose a heart attack, doctors may do tests including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). This test is used to diagnose a heart attack. A sticky patch is attached to your chest and limbs, and then electrical signals are recorded as waves on a monitor or printed on paper. If the heart muscle is injured, it does not conduct these signals correctly, which can be seen on the monitor or printed on paper. If you see an ECG, it may show that a heart attack has occurred or is in progress.

  • Blood tests.After a heart attack, certain proteins slowly leak into your blood. Emergency room doctors will take samples of your blood to check for these proteins or enzymes.

Additional tests

If you are having a heart attack, doctors will take immediate steps to stabilize your condition. You may also have additional tests to assess your condition.

  • Chest X-ray.An X-ray image of your chest allows your doctor to check the size and shape of your heart and to see if there is fluid in your lungs.

  • Echocardiogram.Ultrasound creates pictures of the moving heart. Your doctor can use this test to see how your heart is functioning and whether any areas are damaged. An echocardiogram can help identify areas of your heart that may be in need of attention.

  • Coronary catheterization (angiogram).A liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a thin tube (catheter) that's fed through an artery in your leg or groin. This makes the arteries visible on X-ray, which reveals areas of blockage.

  • Cardiac CT or MRI. These tests use X-rays to create pictures of your heart and chest. Cardiac CT scans use X-rays. Cardiac MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of your heart. You will lie down on a table in the machine, and each test can be used to diagnose heart problems. The extent of damage from a heart attack.

Treatment Heart attack 

Heart attack treatment at a hospital

Each minute after a heart attack, more heart tissue deteriorates or dies. Quickly restoring blood flow helps prevent heart damage.


If you are having a heart attack, medications might include:

  • Aspirin.If you are having a heart attack, the 911 operator might tell you to take aspirin. Aspirin decreases blood clotting, which helps maintain blood flow through a narrowed artery. If you are taken to an emergency room, medical personnel might give you aspirin right away.

  • Thrombolytics.These drugs can dissolve a blood clot that is blocking blood flow to the heart. The sooner you receive a thrombolytic drug after a heart attack, the greater the chance you will survive and have less heart damage.

  • Antiplatelet agents.If you are in the hospital for an emergency, your doctor may give you a drug to prevent new clots from forming and to keep existing clots from getting bigger.

  • Other blood-thinning medications.You might be given other medications to make your blood less sticky and less likely to form clots. Heparin is given either through an intravenous injection or by injection under the skin.

  • Pain relievers.You might be given a pain reliever such as morphine. This medication will make you feel less pain.

  • Nitroglycerin.This medication used to treat chest pain can help improve blood flow to the heart by widening the blood vessels.

  • Beta blockers.These medications help relax your heart, slow your heartbeat, and decrease blood pressure. This makes it easier for your heart to do its job. Beta blockers can limit the damage done to the heart muscle and prevent future heart attacks.

  • ACE inhibitors.These drugs lower blood pressure and relieve stress on the heart.

  • Statins.These drugs lower your blood cholesterol.

Surgical and other procedures

If you have a heart attack, you might have one of these treatments:

  • Coronary angioplasty and stenting are medical procedures used to open blocked arteries. If you have had a heart attack, a doctor may use a long, thin tube to guide it through an artery in your groin or wrist and unblock an artery in your heart. A procedure used to find blockages is performed.
    A catheter has a special balloon that is inflated to open a blocked coronary artery. A metal mesh stent is then inserted into the artery to keep it open long term. Usually, a slow-releasing medication is applied to the stent. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help keep your arteries open.

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery.If it is possible, doctors sometimes perform emergency bypass surgery during a heart attack. However, you might have the surgery after your heart has had enough time to recover-about three to seven days.
    Bypass surgery allows blood flow to the heart by sewing veins or arteries beyond a blocked or narrowed coronary artery.
    You may remain in the hospital for a few days after your heart has been restored to its normal functioning and your condition is stable.

Cardiac rehabilitation

Most hospitals have programs that can start while you're in the hospital and continue after you return home. Cardiac rehabilitation programs typically focus on four main areas: medication, lifestyle changes, emotional issues, and a gradual return to your normal routine. Don't do anything too strenuous.

Participating in cardiac rehab is very important. After a heart attack, people who attend cardiac rehab generally live longer and are less likely to have another heart attack or complications from the heart attack. If cardiac rehab isn't recommended during your hospitalization, ask your doctor. Talk to a doctor about it.

Lifestyle and home remedies

To improve your heart health, take the following steps: 1. Eat a healthy diet. 2. Exercise regularly. 3. Avoid smoking cigarettes.

  • Avoid smoking.The best way to improve your heart's health is to not smoke, and to avoid being around secondhand smoke. If you need help quitting smoking, speak with your doctor.

  • Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will help you control your health.If either of these numbers is high, your doctor may recommend changes to your diet and medications. Make sure to see your doctor on a regular basis to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.

  • Get regular medical checkups.Some of the major risk factors for a heart attack (high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes) might not cause any symptoms early on. Your doctor can test for these conditions and can help you manage them if necessary.

  • Exercise.Regular exercise helps improve heart muscle function after a heart attack and helps prevent another one. To do this, get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. If you do not have time for regular exercise, try to make time for a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.Being overweight can strain your heart, leading to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.Saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol in your diet can increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. A healthy diet that includes lean proteins, such as fish and beans, and fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, can help reduce your risk.

  • Manage diabetes.Regular exercise and a healthy diet help keep blood sugar levels in check. Many people with diabetes also need medication to manage their condition.

  • Control stress.There are things you can do to reduce stress in your day-to-day life. Change workaholic habits and deal with stressful events in a healthy way.

  • You should avoid or limit alcohol intake.If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. This means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.

Coping and support

Having a heart attack is scary, and you might worry about how it will affect your life and whether you will have another one.

After a heart attack, fear, anger, guilt and depression are all common. Talking to your doctor, a family member, or a friend might help. Joining a support group might also be helpful.

It is important to let your doctor know if you are experiencing signs or symptoms of depression. Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be very helpful in preventing or treating depression after a heart attack.

Sex after a heart attack

Many people worry about having sex after a heart attack, but most people can safely resume sexual activity after recovering. When it is safe for you to have sex will depend on your physical comfort, emotional readiness, and previous sexual activity. Talk to your doctor when it is safe for you to have sex.

If you're having trouble with your sexual function, talk to your doctor. Some heart medications can have an affect on sexual function.

Preparing for your appointment

If you think you may have had a heart attack, go to the emergency room. If your risk is high, you might be referred to a cardiologist.

Here is some information to help you make your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there are any preparations you need to make in advance, such as fasting before a cholesterol test.

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms,The study looked at any factors that might be related to coronary artery disease, and when they began.

  • Key personal information,Having a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, or diabetes and experiencing recent major stresses or recent life changes is a risk factor for developing these conditions.

  • All medications,You will need to take vitamins and other supplements along with your prescribed doses.

  • Questions to ask your doctor

If you can, take someone along who can help you remember the information.

Some questions you may want to ask your doctor about heart attack prevention include:

  • What tests do I need to determine if my current heart health is good?

  • What foods should I eat and what foods should I avoid?

  • What is the recommended level of physical activity?

  • How often should I have my blood checked for heart disease?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?

  • Can I download brochures or other printed material? What websites do you recommend?

Keep asking questions—you might not understand everything at first.

Your doctor can tell you what to expect.

Your doctor may ask you questions, including:

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • Do the flowers stay in the same place or do they move around?

  • What if anything seems to help your symptoms? If you have chest pain, does resting help improve the condition?

  • What if anything makes your symptoms worse? If you have chest pain, is strenuous activity making it worse?

  • Are you suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol?

What you can do in the meantime

Making healthy lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating healthily, and getting active can help protect your heart from a heart attack.

General summary

  1. It can take anywhere from a month to a year for the inflammation following a heart attack to resolve according to the American Heart Association During that time risk of another heart attack is increased due to plaque buildup and scarring in the damaged area Though some patients are able to stabilize their condition with medication or devices such as stents many will need more invasive procedures like bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty to get relief from pain and restore normal function Even after these procedures it may not be possible for heart muscle cells to recover completely The body can't generate new muscle cells once they're dead so if enough died.

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