Cardiology

Postconditioning during PCI for STEMI shows delayed benefits

(HealthDay)—The benefits of postconditioning (PostC) balloon inflations in patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may not be apparent immediately, ...

Cardiology

Death at 10 years similar with bilateral, single-artery CABG

(HealthDay)—There is no difference in the rate of death from any cause at 10 years for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with bilateral or single internal-thoracic-artery grafting, according to ...

Health

Not all saturated fats are equal when it comes to heart health

The type of saturated fats we eat can affect our risk of a heart attack, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. People whose diets contain relatively little palmitic and stearic acid—saturated ...

Genetics

Aging and chronic diseases share genetic factors, study reveals

The global population age 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups and faces the tide of chronic diseases threatening their quality of life and posing challenges to healthcare and economic systems. To better ...

Cardiology

A sobering conclusion: Adult hearts contain no stem cells

A detailed cell-by-cell map of all dividing cells in the adult murine heart before and after myocardial infarction was created using advanced molecular and genetic technologies in a combined research effort led by Hans Clevers ...

Cardiology

Variation in revascularization for asymptomatic SIHD unexplained

(HealthDay)—For asymptomatic patients with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD) and coronary artery disease (CAD), there is considerable variation in revascularization practice that is not explained by known factors, according ...

Cardiology

Presence of antiphospholipid antibodies tied to first-time MI

(HealthDay)—There is a strong and independent association between the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) and first-time myocardial infarction (MI), according to a research letter published recently in the Annals ...

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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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