Cardiology

Study highlights potential targets for heart failure prevention

The prevalence of heart failure in the United States is a growing concern. A new study led by a Yale physician analyzes the variations in how often heart failure occurs in patients with risk factors such as hypertension, ...

Cardiology

Big study supports cheap combo pill to lower heart risks

A daily pill combining four cholesterol and blood pressure medicines taken with low-dose aspirin cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart-related deaths by nearly one third in a large international study that's expected ...

Health

After heart attack, pot smoking raises post-op dangers

(HealthDay)—Election Day 2020 saw marijuana legalization continue its march across the United States, but a pair of new studies warn that smoking pot could increase risk for heart patients.

Cardiology

Got A-fib? It could heighten COVID risks

(HealthDay)—Two preliminary studies offer mixed news for heart patients who fall ill with COVID-19: Those on certain blood pressure-lowering drugs are not at increased risk of dying, but those with atrial fibrillation (a-fib) ...

Cardiology

Researchers identify biomarker for cardiovascular diseases

The role of the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase 3 in the blood pressure-regulating renin-angiotensin system was investigated in the inter-university cooperation project BioTechMed-Graz. The results could pave the way for new ...

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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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