Causes of Myocardial Infarction

A host of factors can result in myocardial infarction (a heart attack), but the root reason has always been well-established: the contraction of the heart’s arteries. There are various risk factors connected to an event of myocardial infarction, ranging from a high LDL cholesterol level, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), a genetic history of cardiovascular illness, to detrimental lifestyle choices like smoking and poor dietary habits.

Even those with a high risk of developing heart disease and undergoing myocardial infarction can possibly lower their risk if they are knowledgeable about what exactly causes myocardial infarction and puts them at an increased danger.

Understanding What Myocardial Infarction Means

When a person has a heart attack, they usually report feeling symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness, cold sweating, and nausea. Some patients also experience severe chest pressure coupled with the hallmark pain.

Individuals without any of these primary signs may exhibit other symptoms like a pain in their jaw, nausea, heartburn, shortness of breath, and an intense pain in their arms or shoulders. Moreover, pain can also start off in the chest and then spread to other sections of the upper body such as the jaw, neck, shoulders, or back. If you find yourself manifesting any of these symptoms, particularly if they are accompanied by chest pain, you must seek medical attention promptly.

Understanding How Myocardial Infarction Transpires

When an individual¬†experiences a heart attack, the heart’s arteries responsible for supplying it with the required oxygen get clogged. As cholesterol and fat build up over time, forming plaques, coronary arteries get blocked, resulting in blood clots that then obstruct the blood flow.

Coronary artery spasm is also an occurrence that can lead to myocardial infarction, which restricts normal blood circulation to a section of the heart. An illicit stimulant such as cocaine, for instance, is known to trigger a spasm of a coronary artery. This spasm can develop in an artery of a person with or without coronary artery disease.

A heart attack is really the final act in a process that usually lasts about 7-8 hours. The silver lining is that if the blood flow to the heart is repaired quickly enough, it is possible to circumvent severe damage to the heart. Microvascular disease–a condition more prevalent in women–can also lead to myocardial infarction.

Understanding Why Myocardial Infarction Happens

A multitude of risk factors has a close connection to myocardial infarction. These risk factors include having a high level of LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, high levels of stress, being overweight or obese, diabetes, having a sedentary lifestyle, and poor dietary habits, i.e. a high intake of trans/saturated fats and a low intake of fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, genetics also play an important role in one’s risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. Having a close family member with cardiovascular disease or who has undergone myocardial infarction ups your chances of both too. It is worthwhile to note that other ailments closely associated with heart disease and myocardial infarction are also hereditary, including high blood pressure. It is worth reiterating that a lifestyle devoid of physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet leads to less than sub-optimal cholesterol levels and contributes to weight gain.

People who are in the habit of exercising on a regular basis and eating a healthy diet, in turn, manage to keep their heart fit and strong. Not to mention, regular exercise is also helpful in lowering high blood pressure and weight management.

Can You Prevent Myocardial Infarction?

The short answer is: yes. Not smoking, managing stress, having a healthy diet, staying at a healthy weight, and keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check go a long way in heart attack prevention.

Featured Image: depositphotos/tashatuvango

Posted on May 22, 2023