Heart Attack

Putting the brakes on accelerated aging

Telomeres are to chromosomes what aglets are to shoelaces—protective caps that stop the tightly wound strings from unraveling. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres are trimmed, eventually becoming so short that the ...

15 hours ago
popularity8 comments 0

Cardiac repair: Neutrophils to the rescue

Following an acute heart attack, immune cells called neutrophils coordinate an inflammatory response which can exacerbate the damage to the organ. Now researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have ...

Feb 10, 2016
popularity0 comments 0

Getting to the 'heart' of sleep

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don't sleep enough are at higher risk for heart disease. One study that examined data from 3,000 adults over age 45 found that those who slept fewer than six hours per night ...

Feb 05, 2016
popularity236 comments 0

Uncovering cardiovascular disease genetics

February is American Heart Month, a great time to take a closer look at cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 17.5 million people die each year from CVD, a figure representing ...

Feb 08, 2016
popularity12 comments 0

Atherosclerosis—a short cut to inflammation

The enzyme Dicer processes RNA transcripts, cutting them into short segments that regulate the synthesis of specific proteins. An Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich team has shown that Dicer promotes the development ...

Feb 10, 2016
popularity1 comments 0

Myocardial infarction (MI) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and ensuing oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period of time, can cause damage or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium).

Classical symptoms of acute myocardial infarction include sudden chest pain (typically radiating to the left arm or left side of the neck), shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sweating, and anxiety (often described as a sense of impending doom). Women may experience fewer typical symptoms than men, most commonly shortness of breath, weakness, a feeling of indigestion, and fatigue. Approximately one-quarter of all myocardial infarctions are "silent", that is without chest pain or other symptoms.

Among the diagnostic tests available to detect heart muscle damage are an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, cardiac MRI and various blood tests. The most often used blood markers are the creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) fraction and the troponin levels. Immediate treatment for suspected acute myocardial infarction includes oxygen, aspirin, and sublingual nitroglycerin.

Most cases of STEMI (ST elevation MI) are treated with thrombolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). NSTEMI (non-ST elevation MI) should be managed with medication, although PCI is often performed during hospital admission. In people who have multiple blockages and who are relatively stable, or in a few emergency cases, bypass surgery may be an option, especially in diabetics.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. Important risk factors are previous cardiovascular disease, older age, tobacco smoking, high blood levels of certain lipids (triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein) and low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, excessive alcohol consumption, the abuse of certain drugs (such as cocaine and methamphetamine), and chronic high stress levels.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Why smiles (and frowns) are contagious

Smile! It makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you. Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience ...