Heart attacks. A leading cause of death

Heart attacks.
A leading cause of death



Understanding Risks – What causes heart attacks?

Healthy coronary arteries are normally clean and smooth on the inner wall lining. The artery walls are flexible and can expand to let more blood through to the muscle when necessary. Coronary artery disease begins with an injury to the lining of the artery wall. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes can cause this injury. The injury makes the artery stiff. When damage occurs, your body starts a healing process. This healing results in damage to the arteries because of the plaque which builds up. Over time, the plaque can narrow or completely block some of your coronary arteries. This reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. A plaque also can crack. A blood clot may form at the site of the crack. This narrows the arteries more and worsens chest pain (angina), and can cause a heart attack.

How is coronary artery disease diagnosed?

To treat a heart attack effectively, it is important to diagnose it right and fast2. Your doctor gathers information from your clinical findings and a few investigations to diagnose a heart attack. Sometimes, the diagnosis of a heart attack could be challenging.However, medical science has evolved to provide more and more tools to diagnose heart attacks accurately.

Treatment choices in Coronary Artery Disease

The management of coronary artery diseases predominantly aims at restoring the blood flow to the heart, which is hindered because of the blocks. Depending upon the severity and extent of the disease in the heart, your doctor chooses the right approach for you. Itis good to be informed about how different treatment modalities work to beat the blocks in the heart and help it function better.

Medical Management
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI)
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

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  1. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.005195
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/warning-signs-of-a-heart-attack
  3. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/diagnosing-a-heart-attack/invasive-tests-and-procedures
  4. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/diagnosing-a-heart-attack/noninvasive-tests-and-procedures
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-angioplasty/
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-artery-bypass-graft-cabg/

Disclaimer: The information presented here by Boston Scientific is for educational purposes only and does not recommend self-management of health issues. The information should not be treatedas comprehensive and does not intend to provide diagnosis, treatment or any medical advice. Individual symptoms, situations, circumstances and results may vary. The information should not beused as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Please consult with a registered doctor regarding your condition and medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options. Any decision takenbased on the information provided herein is not the responsibility of the company or the website.