Heart Attack – Causes and Symptoms of Heart Attack
Heart attack is a serious condition in which the death of heart muscle occurs due to loss of blood supply. The loss of blood is due to the blockage in the coronory arteries that supply the blood to the heart muscles. Heart attack is also known by other names such as, coronary occlusion, coronary thrombosis and acute myocardial infarction.
Both men and women develop risk of heart attack in equal proportions. It is also the leading cause of death in the United States as per the research studies. In a year, more than a million persons develop heart attack and half of them die.
Causes of Heart Attack
Heart attack is caused when one or more arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart are blocked. The blockage occurs due to the cholesterol in the coronary artery. This cholesterol is buildup in the arteries of the whole body collectively known as plaques. The condition is called as atherosclerosis .
The plaques rupture at the time of heart attack and later a blood clot is formed at the rupture site. The blood flow is thus blocked in the artery. This condition is known as coronary artery disease and is the important cause of heart attack.
Coronary artery spasms are an other uncommon cause of heart attacks. During the spasms, the blood flow is shut down to a part of heart muscle and thus leading to heart attacks. Spasms are caused due to intake of drugs such as cocaine.
The risk factors of heart attacks include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Family history or heredity
- Old age
- Illegal drug use
Symptoms of Heart Attack
The signs and symptoms of heart attack are:
- Feeling of terror
- Face becomes gray
- Shortness of breath
- Crushing chest pain
- Mild chest discomfort
- Pain extending beyond the chest to shoulder, arm, back, teeth and jaw
- Clammy skin
- Heartburn or abdominal pain
The symptoms vary from person to person. The same degree of symptoms cannot be experienced by everyone. Even some people have no symptoms at all. The only complaint the affected people have is fatigue or extreme weakness.