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Myocardial Infarction

What is Myocardial Infarction?

Myocardial Infarction is a life-threatening medical condition that is characterized by the death of heart muscles due to sudden blockage of a coronary artery which cuts off blood supply to the heart muscles. The blockage usually occurs in the lumen of a coronary artery that is already narrowed by fatty plaque from atherosclerosis, which becomes completely blocked by a blood clot or an arterial plaque. The heart muscles that are deprived of oxygen die in the process, giving rise to the crushing chest pain symptom of a myocardial infarction. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment to prevent permanent damage to large area of the heart and premature death. Although it is commonly known that men have a higher risk of atherosclerosis than women, women past menopause have around the same risk as men as they no longer have high level of estrogen, a female hormone known to prevent atherosclerosis, in their blood. As such, women are also of higher risk of developing coronary artery disease once they reach menopause, which in turn increases their risk of having myocardial infarction.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction?

Signs and symptoms of Myocardial Infarction may include:

  • A constant feeling of fullness
  • A feeling of sadness
  • Angina Pectoris
  • Anxiety
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Enlargement of the fingertips with abnormal curvature of the nails (clubbed fingers)
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands
  • Perspiration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Upper Back Pain
  • Vomiting

What Causes Myocardial Infarction?

Possible causes of Myocardial Infarction are:

What Increases the Risk of Myocardial Infarction?

The risk of Myocardial Infarction increases when you/your:

What Complications Can Myocardial Infarction Cause?

Myocardial Infarction may result in the following complications:

How Can You Prevent Myocardial Infarction?

Myocardial Infarction can be prevented if you/your:

  • Abstain from alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit your cholesterol intake
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage your stress well
  • Quit smoking

What Treatments are Available for Myocardial Infarction?

Treatments and management of Myocardial Infarction may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:

  • Analgesics
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Anticoagulants
  • Aspirin
  • Beta Blockers
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
  • Coronary Angioplasty
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Glyceryl Trinitrate
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
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