Heart Attack

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
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Physician discusses heart disease in women

Heart disease has been the number-one killer of women for decades, but it is still an under-recognized problem. The Women's Heart and Vascular Program, directed by Yale School of Medicine's Dr. Lisa Freed, aims to change ...

Feb 25, 2016
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Cyborg cardiac patch may treat the diseased heart

More than 25% of the people on the national US waiting list for a heart will die before receiving one. Despite this discouraging figure, heart transplants are still on the rise. There just hasn't been an alternative. Until ...

Mar 14, 2016
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Mammograms: Another way to screen for heart disease?

Routine mammography—widely recommended for breast cancer screening—may also be a useful tool to identify women at risk for heart disease, potentially allowing for earlier intervention, according to a study scheduled for ...

Mar 24, 2016
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Heart valves in a new light

In all probability, at least one of the heart's valves – the mitral valve – functions entirely differently than previously believed. Neil Ingels, professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has devoted 40 ...

Feb 16, 2016
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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

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