Cardiology

Women's blood vessels age faster than men's, study finds

New research from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai showed for the first time that women's blood vessels—including both large and small arteries—age at a faster rate than men's. The findings, published Wednesday ...

Cardiology

Burnout linked with irregular heartbeat

Feeling excessively tired, devoid of energy, demoralised, and irritable? You may have burnout, a syndrome associated with a potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbance. That's the conclusion of a large study published today ...

Health

Busting myths about red meat

More than half of Americans who make New Year's resolutions resolve to "eat healthier." If you're one, you might be confused about the role meat should play in your health.

Cardiology

Half of women with heart failure get the wrong treatment

More women than men die of heart failure. The reason is that only 50 percent of the heart failure cases among women are caused by having a heart attack, which can be treated with modern methods.

Neuroscience

After stroke, an 'astounding' risk of heart problems

Women and men have a much higher risk of dangerous heart problems soon after their first stroke compared to people without stroke, even if they don't have obvious underlying heart disease, a study has found.

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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.

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