Cardiology

Quinn on Nutrition: Love your heart

I was fascinated to discover from heart experts at Cleveland Clinic that I was no bigger than a poppy seed when my heart first began to beat during my mom's 4th week of pregnancy. With no effort on my part, my heart beats ...

Cardiology

Finding suggests ways to promote adult heart tissue regeneration

Injured hearts do not heal themselves. Heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, do not proliferate as much as necessary to replace dead tissue with new, pumping cells. Consequently, most people who had a severe heart attack ...

Medical research

A 'fountain of youth' pill? Sure, if you're a mouse

Renowned Harvard University geneticist David Sinclair recently made a startling assertion: Scientific data shows he has knocked more than two decades off his biological age.

Cardiology

CDC: Heart attack awareness improved since 2008

(HealthDay)—Since 2008, there has been an increase in the number of U.S. adults with awareness of heart attack symptoms and knowledge of the appropriate response to a heart attack, according to research published in the ...

Cardiology

Most triggers for irregular heartbeat can be easily modified

A personal survey of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), one of the most important causes of irregular heartbeats, has found that the majority of triggers for the condition are easily modifiable lifestyle choices, including ...

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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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