Myocardial infarction, one of the leading causes of death in the world is responsible for a casualty in every forty seconds. It has been observed that one out of every four deaths in this world is caused due to myocardial infarction.
The death records by myocardial infarction have been so high for the past few years that it has been creating an alarm in the medical world. However, we have to take notice that this can be easily avoided if proper medications and treatments are taken.
Therefore, we bring to you through this article, everything that you need to know about myocardial infarction.
What is myocardial infarction?
Myocardial infarction is the medical term that is used for heart attack. It is a life-threatening condition that emerges when the blood flow to heart muscles decreases or cut off abruptly due to the formation of a blockage in the coronary arteries leading to chest pain, shortness of breath and eventually if not treated properly can also lead to death.
Myocardial infarction causes
The body is made up of numerous blood vessels and out of those vessels, arteries are the one that helps in taking oxygen-rich blood to all the organs in your body. The arteries that work in taking blood to your heart is known as coronary arteries. If those coronary arteries become blocked due to formation of plaque in them, then the real problem begins.
So let’s go in detail about myocardial infarction causes
- Building up of bad cholesterol- Cholesterol is colourless substances that are found in the food we consume and also it is generated by our body too. Cholesterol can be differentiated into good and bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol is beneficial for the body but bad cholesterol is the main cause for a heart attack.
Bad cholesterol is generally known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and unlike good cholesterol, they cannot be easily flushed out of the body. They stick to our coronary arteries and plaque them up eventually leading to various cardiovascular difficulties
Bad cholesterol also contains platelets which help in clot formation of the blood.
- Overconsumption of Saturated Fat and Trans fat – Saturated fats are those which are found in abundance in meat and dairy products including beef, butter and cheese.
Saturated fat is a potential danger for your body as it leads to atrial blockage by increasing the bad cholesterol and reducing the good cholesterol in the body.
Trans fat is called hydrogenated fat. It is artificially produced and is found in good volume in processed foods.
Myocardial infarction symptoms
Currently, the highest number of deaths is claimed by myocardial infarction every year. However, this scenario can be changed as it has been seen that if a person suffering from a heart attack is immediately assisted with proper medication and treatment, then he or she can survive too.
So, if you detect these following symptoms in you or any other people, then immediately call 911. Your call on time can save a person’s life. These are myocardial infarction symptoms that can be seen physically are:
- The most common symptom of myocardial infarction is chest pain. Unbearable tightness or pressure in the chest is felt. Rapid beating of the heart is also experienced.
- Intolerable discomfort in the jaw, back and the other parts of the upper body is observed.
- The other symptoms that are common to notice are difficulty in breathing, sweating, nausea, cough, dizziness and vomiting.
Although the above mentioned are most common to observe, there can be some differences in symptoms between men and women.
For women, it has been detected that apart from chest pain, there can be some varied symptoms to observe.
Some of them are-
- Symptoms of flu
- Upper back and jaw pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Who is at risk for myocardial infarction?
Your chance of experiencing a heart attack cannot be easily judged but through years of study and research, doctors have been able to point out some points that stand out as a risk for myocardial infarction.
- Age group- Risk of heart attack increases with increase in age. Men after 45 and women, especially after the age of 55, stand at a dangerous threshold.
- High blood pressure- 120/80 mm of Hg is considered as the normal blood pressure but if the numbers increase, then it can pose a threat for a heart attack. High blood pressure can damage arteries and also speeds up the process of plaque formation in them. Furthermore, it can also lead to the development of other cardiovascular diseases.
- High cholesterol and triglycerides levels- If the level of cholesterol and triglycerides shoots up in your blood then it can eventually lead to clogging up of your arteries and other blood vessels.
- Lifestyle problems and family history- If you are a person who is a junk food addict or smokes tobacco, do not have a proper routine for sleep or food, then beware, you possess a high risk for myocardial infarction.
People who consume drugs like cocaine or amphetamines also have a high risk of a heart attack and those who have a history of heart attacks in the family should also be cautioned from the danger.
How to avoid it?
People should consume heart-healthy meals which contain whole grains, vegetables, fruit and lean proteins to have a healthy working heart for a long time.
Also do make sure to avoid food products that have high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol in them.
Myocardial infarction treatment
Treatment for myocardial infarction should be immediate and it generally starts from the emergency room itself.
- Blood thinners like aspirin and thrombolytics are provided so that they break up the blood clots in the body.
- Antiplatelet drugs and nitroglycerin tablets are prescribed to prevent the clogging back of the blood.
If the heart attack has been quite fatal and some more complications have been encountered, then after some initial medications. Doctors proceed to treat the blockage through the following procedures.
- Angioplasty– A long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the artery in the heart which has the blockage. A small balloon is inflated which reopens the artery and a small stent is placed inside to prevent closing back of the arterial walls.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)- If the blockage is quite difficult to remove, then through the process of CABG, reroute of veins and arteries is done so that blood can flow around the blockage.
It should be noted that proper measures should be taken after the treatments. Proper care and rest should be ensured for that person.
There you go, hopefully, all your inquisitiveness about the myocardial infarction has been solved through this article. A heart attack does pose a serious threat to mankind but if proper treatment and medications are provided within the stipulated ‘golden hours’ then, the person can be easily saved. Always remember to call your nearest hospital to save the life of a person in time if you notice any of the symptoms of myocardial infarction.