Cardiology

Young women who smoke face highest risk of major heart attack

Smoking increases both men's and women's risk of a major heart attack at all ages, but women smokers have a significantly higher increased risk compared to men, especially women under 50 years old, according to a study in ...

Genetics

Gene networks reveal transition from healthy to failing heart

Scientists investigating heart failure have been limited to studying diseased heart tissue in the lab—understandably, as people don't tend to pluck out a healthy heart for the sake of research. But now, scientists with ...

Cardiology

Non-invasive view into the heart

The non-invasive measurement of blood flow to the heart using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is on par with cardiac catheterization. This was the result of an international study published in the current issue of the New ...

Cardiology

Study reveals new genetic link to heart disease

A collaboration involving the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the German Heart Center Munich, AstraZeneca, and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has demonstrated that more than 30 percent of heart disease risk stems ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

How working out in anger can put you at risk

(HealthDay)—Research points to a very long list of benefits from exercise, from improving your overall health to easing stress and enhancing mental well-being. But a landmark study in the journal Circulation highlights ...

Health

Vitamin D may not help your heart

While previous research has suggested a link between low levels of vitamin D in the blood and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a new Michigan State University study has found that taking vitamin D supplements ...

Cardiology

Simple scan could direct treatments for angina

A 40 minute test for angina could help patients avoid an overnight stay in hospital, according to research funded by the NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre.

Health

How common gut bacteria trigger a lethal autoimmune disease

What causes the immune system, designed to protect us, to turn on the body and attack healthy cells? Common bacteria that reside in the human gut may be partly to blame, say Yale researchers, who studied the origins of a ...

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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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