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Why Does a Heart Attack Occur?

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Why Does a Heart Attack Occur?

Cardiology | by Dr. Ashok B Malpani | Published on 27/05/2022

We see a lot of deaths happening due to heart attacks nowadays and it is becoming a reason of grave concern for everyone. Those affected by it not only include elderly but small children as well. Even a lot of celebrities have lost their lives due to heart attacks. While most of us are focusing on the problem, experts specializing in Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery suggest that it is very important to understand why a heart attack occurs and accordingly imbibe some healthy practices in our day-to-day life to alleviate our risks of the same. Before starting with these, latest first try to understand the exact cause of heart attack.

A heart attack occurs when the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart is obstructed, which may be due to a variety of different reasons, the most common of which is plaque buildup. Plaque refers to the greasy residue of fats, cholesterol, and unwanted substances that are present in our blood. As time passes by, these tend to stick to the arterial walls and get deposited, leading to severe blockage. The plaque solidifies over time and can even rupture resulting in the formation of clots that can completely block the blood supply to the heart. As this happens, the heart muscles gradually start to die.

Heart attack is broadly classified into two different types:

Acute complete blockage - In this case, a major artery is involved, meaning that you had an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)

Partial blockage - In this case, the patient has a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).

Is there any other cause of heart attack other than blocked arteries?

Blocked arteries happen to be the leading cause of heart attack and it is due to this very reason that most people think that it is the only reason. However, there are some other factors that may be responsible for heart attacks. These include:

  • Coronary artery spasm, which is marked by severe squeezing of the blood vessels that have not been affected by the plaque
  • Chronic infections like Covid-19 that can damage the heart muscles
  • SCAD or spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a serious condition, marked by a tear inside the artery.

The problem can be treated with the help of CABG. Coronary artery bypass surgery in Kolkata is offered at all the leading hospitals like BM Birla Heart Research Centre.

What are the symptoms that you need to watch out for?

As the supply of oxygenated blood to your heart is reduced, it is lightly to give rise to a couple of symptoms. However, it is important to understand most of the symptoms vary from one person to another. Some of the common symptoms that are widely experienced, and may be considered classic indications include:

  • Sudden chest pain or angina
  • A feeling of tightness and squeezing sensation in the chest
  • Cold sweats
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness or unconsciousness
  • Feeling nauseated
  • Breathlessness

If you are a female it is important to understand that you are symptoms may be somewhat different from those experienced by a male. You can feel a sharp pain in your neck, upper limbs, and back.

What is important to note here is that while some symptoms associated with heart attack are sudden, others may experience warning signs for a couple of days or even weeks. It is important to take note of these symptoms and consult a doctor immediately to get yourself examined. You can find some of the best heart hospitals in Kolkata, having the best diagnostic and treatment facilities for heart attacks. A proper assessment can help your medical team to confirm the diagnosis and curate a proper treatment plan to help you.