A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle is blocked, usually by a blood clot. This blockage can damage or destroy the heart muscle, and can be life-threatening.
The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body. It needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function properly. The heart muscle receives its blood supply through the coronary arteries. When one of these arteries becomes blocked, the blood supply to the heart muscle is reduced or cut off, causing a heart attack.
The most common cause of a heart attack is a buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that can accumulate in the arteries over time. When plaque builds up, it can cause the arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle. In some cases, a piece of plaque can break off and form a clot, which can completely block the artery and cause a heart attack.
Other factors that can increase the risk of a heart attack include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and a family history of heart disease. In some cases, a heart attack can also be caused by a spasm in one of the coronary arteries, or by a tear in the heart artery.
If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. The sooner a heart attack is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of survival and recovery.