Heart Attack

Heart Attack |Symptoms|causes|treatment

heart attack

A heart attack happens when something blocks the artery that supplying your heart with oxygen and blood. The blockage of the artery is mostly due to the buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances which form plaque that feeds the heart. If a plaque damages, a blood clot can make and block your arteries.

It is also known as myocardial infarctions (MI). “Myo” means cordial muscle, refers to the heart, and “infarction” means the death of tissue because of a lack of blood supply. This tissue death can cause damage to your cordial muscle.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Following are the symptoms of heart attack such as:

  • Discomfort, squeezing, pressure, tightness, heaviness, or pain in your chest or arm or below your breastbone
  • Indigestion, fullness or a choking feeling (like heartburn)
  • Upset stomach, sweating,  or vomiting
  • Anxiety, severe weakness, or shortness of breath
  • Uneven or fast heartbeat
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea, indigestion

Heart attack symptoms vary

Symptoms can be varying from one heart attack to another or from person to person. Women are more affected to have symptoms such as a shortness of breath, upset stomach, or back or jaw pain.

Few heart attacks suddenly strike, but most of the people have many  symptoms ,hours, days, or weeks in advance. Angina is a condition that is caused by temporary decrease in blood flow to hear


A heart attack happens when one or more coronary arteries become blocked. Over time, plaques (a buildup of fatty deposits, including cholesterol, form substances), which can narrow the arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition causes most heart attacks called coronary artery disease.

In a heart attack, the plaque can rupture, forms a blood clot, and spill cholesterol and other substances into the bloodstream. A large clot can block blood flow through the coronary artery, starving the heart of nutrients (ischemia) and oxygen.

The blockage of the coronary artery may be complete or partial.

  • When you’ve had an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), it means the blockage is complete.
  • When you’ve had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), it means the blockage is incomplete or partial.

Heart attack caused by a spasm of a coronary artery that shuts down the blood flow to  a part of the heart muscle. Using illicit drugs, like cocaine, and tobacco can cause a life-threatening spasm.

Infection with COVID-19 also can affect your heart in ways that result in a heart attack.

Risk factors

Certain factors contribute to the unwanted buildup of atherosclerosis (fatty deposits) that narrows arteries in whole body. You can eliminate or improve many of these risk factors to reduce your chances of having a first or another heart attack.

Risk factors of heart attack include:

  • Age

Heart attack is most common in men (age 45 or older) and women (age 55 or older) than are younger men and women.

  • Tobacco

Smoking and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke is also effect heart that resulting in heart attack.

  • High blood pressure

With passage of time or over time, hypertension can destroy arteries that lead to your heart. Hypertension that occurs with other conditions, like high cholesterol or diabetes, obesity, increases your risk even more.

  • High blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels

A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) is most effective to narrow arteries. A type of blood fat related to your diet (high level of triglycerides), also increases your risk of a heart attack. However, HDL (high level of high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) may lower your risk.

  • Obesity

Obesity is linked with high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, and diabetes. This risk can be lower by losing just 10% of your body weight.


Diabetes can also increase the risk of a heart attack if insulin (a hormone secreted by your pancreas) is not produced enough or not responding to insulin properly causes your body’s blood sugar levels to rise.

  • Metabolic syndrome

This syndrome occurs when you have hypertension, obesity, and high blood sugar. Having syndrome makes you twice as likely to develop heart disease as if you don’t have it.

  • Family history of heart attacks

If your parents or grandparents, siblings have had early heart attacks (by age 65 for females and by age 55 for males), you might be at increased risk.

  • Lack of physical activity

 Inactiveness contributes to obesity and high blood cholesterol levels. People have better heart health, including lower blood pressure who exercises regularly.

  • Stress

Stress can also increase your risk of a heart attack.

  • Illicit drug use.

Using stimulant drugs, like amphetamines or cocaine, can trigger a spasm of your coronary arteries that can cause a heart attack.

  • A history of preeclampsia

This problem causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and increases the lifetime risk of heart disease.

  • An autoimmune condition

People who have a condition like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of a heart attack.


To take steps to prevent a heart attack is never too late, even if you’ve already had one. Following are ways to prevent a heart attack.

  • Medications

Medications can reduce the risk of a subsequent heart attack and help your destroyed heart function better.

  • Lifestyle factors

You know the drill: Maintain a healthy weight with a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, manage stress and control conditions that can lead to a heart attack, like hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and high cholesterol.


During regular physical exams, your doctor should screen you for risk factors that can lead to a heart attack.

Tests to diagnose a heart attack include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Firstly, ECG is done to diagnose a heart attack that records electrical signals that travel through your heart. Electrodes (sticky patches) are attached to your limbs and chest. Signals (as waves) are recorded that displayed on a monitor or printed on paper. Because normally, injured heart muscle doesn’t conduct electrical impulses, the ECG may show that a heart attack is in progress or has occurred

  • Blood tests

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

Additional tests

Doctors will take immediate steps to treat your condition if you’ve had or are having a heart attack.  Additional tests for heart attack are following:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Coronary catheterization (angiogram)
  • Cardiac CT or MRI


After a heart attacks each minute, more heart tissue dies or deteriorates. If blood flow restores quickly helps prevent heart damage.


Medications to cure a heart attack might include:

  • Aspirin

Aspirin decreases blood clotting, thus helping maintain blood flow by a narrowed artery.

  • Thrombolytics

It is  also known as clot busters, help dissolve a blood clot that’s blocking blood flow to  heart.

  • Antiplatelet agents

Platelet aggregation inhibitors to keep existing clots from getting larger and to help prevent new clots.

  • Other blood-thinning medications

Medications, like heparin, help to make your blood less “sticky” and form less clots. Heparin is given by intravascular or by an injection under your skin.

  • Pain relievers

Apain reliever, like morphine also helps in preventing heart attack.

  • Nitroglycerin

This medication, used to treat angina (chest pain), can help in improving blood flow to the heart by dilating(widening) the blood vessels.

  • Beta blockers

This medication helps toslow your heartbeat, relax your heart muscle and decrease blood pressure, making your heart’s job easier. It can also limit the amount of heart muscle damage and prevent future heart attacks.

  • ACE inhibitors

These drugs reduce stress and lower blood pressure on the heart.

  • Statins

Blood cholesterol is controlled by these drugs.


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