Cardiology

Nurse misreads symptoms of her own heart attack

At her new job as a nurse at a college in St. Louis, Roslyn Harvey spent most of her day sitting at a desk. So, when she felt breathless walking across campus or climbing stairs, she figured she was out of shape.

Medical research

Black patients fare worse after angioplasty

(HealthDay)—Even after undergoing the artery-clearing procedure angioplasty, Black patients with heart disease are more likely than whites to suffer a heart attack or die within the next several years.

Cardiology

How the body regulates scar tissue growth after heart attacks

New UCLA research conducted in mice could explain why some people suffer more extensive scarring than others after a heart attack. The study, published in the journal Cell, reveals that a protein known as type 5 collagen ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Pandemic caused 18 pc rise in deaths in US: study

The coronavirus pandemic in the US claimed at least 122,000 more lives than would be expected in a normal year, for a rise of 18 percent, says a study released Wednesday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Getting safe emergency care during COVID-19

Find out when to get emergency care for non-COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms, and learn what emergency rooms are doing to keep you safe during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Cardiology

Home blood pressure test eases GP demand

Patients who need a blood pressure test might not need to visit their GP thanks to a digital system that makes it easier to send results to their doctor.

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Myocardial infarction (MI) or acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die. This is most commonly due to occlusion (blockage) of a coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, which is an unstable collection of lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids) and white blood cells (especially macrophages) in the wall of an artery. The resulting ischemia (restriction in blood supply) and ensuing oxygen shortage, if left untreated for a sufficient period of time, can cause damage or death (infarction) of heart muscle tissue (myocardium).

Classical symptoms of acute myocardial infarction include sudden chest pain (typically radiating to the left arm or left side of the neck), shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sweating, and anxiety (often described as a sense of impending doom). Women may experience fewer typical symptoms than men, most commonly shortness of breath, weakness, a feeling of indigestion, and fatigue. Approximately one-quarter of all myocardial infarctions are "silent", that is without chest pain or other symptoms.

Among the diagnostic tests available to detect heart muscle damage are an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, cardiac MRI and various blood tests. The most often used blood markers are the creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) fraction and the troponin levels. Immediate treatment for suspected acute myocardial infarction includes oxygen, aspirin, and sublingual nitroglycerin.

Most cases of STEMI (ST elevation MI) are treated with thrombolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). NSTEMI (non-ST elevation MI) should be managed with medication, although PCI is often performed during hospital admission. In people who have multiple blockages and who are relatively stable, or in a few emergency cases, bypass surgery may be an option, especially in diabetics.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. Important risk factors are previous cardiovascular disease, older age, tobacco smoking, high blood levels of certain lipids (triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein) and low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, excessive alcohol consumption, the abuse of certain drugs (such as cocaine and methamphetamine), and chronic high stress levels.

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