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Myocardial infarction (MI)


A myocardial infarction (MI), also known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common cause of an MI is a blockage in one of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. MIs can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an MI include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking, to reduce the risk of an MI.


  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Fatigue


  • Atherosclerosis: This is the build-up of plaque (a mixture of fat, cholesterol, and other substances) in the walls of the arteries. Over time, plaque can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart.
  • High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure can put extra strain on the heart and increase the risk of an MI.
  • High cholesterol: High levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol in the blood can contribute to the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
  • Smoking: Smoking damages the blood vessels and increases the risk of an MI.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing heart disease, including an MI.
  • Age: The risk of an MI increases with age, especially for men over 45 and women over 55.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of heart disease, you may be at an increased risk of an MI.

Risk Factors

  • Family history
  • Smoking &  alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Stress
  • With the age it may occur


  • Heart failure: Damage to the heart muscle caused by an MI can lead to heart failure, a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
  • Arrhythmias: An MI can cause abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), which can be serious or even life-threatening.
  • Heart rupture: In rare cases, the heart muscle may rupture after an MI. This can cause life-threatening bleeding and requires emergency surgery.
  • Cardiogenic shock: This is a serious condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. It can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Valvular heart disease: Damage to the heart valves caused by an MI can lead to valvular heart disease. This may require surgery to repair or replace the damaged valve.
  • Heart attack recurrence: People who have had an MI are at an increased risk of having another one.

How to diagnose?

Myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical emergency. It occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart muscle is blocked, leading to damage or death of the heart muscle tissue. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack, it is important to seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

There are several tests that a healthcare provider may use to diagnose a heart attack, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test records the electrical activity of the heart and can help determine if there has been damage to the heart muscle.
  • Blood tests: Certain enzymes and proteins, such as troponin and creatine kinase, are released into the blood when the heart muscle is damaged. Blood tests can measure the levels of these substances to help diagnose a heart attack.
  • Chest x-ray: This test can help rule out other possible causes of chest pain, such as pneumonia or a lung clot.
  • Echocardiogram: This test uses sound waves to create a detailed image of the heart and can help determine the extent of damage to the heart muscle.
  • Cardiac catheterization: This test involves inserting a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in the arm, leg, or neck and threading it to the heart. It can help determine the location and severity of the blockage in the coronary artery.

It is important to note that these tests may not be necessary in all cases, and the appropriate tests for diagnosing a heart attack may vary depending on the individual's symptoms and medical history.

How to prevent it?

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit smoking & alcohol
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Reduce stress

When you need to see a doctor

It is important to see a healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to a heart attack. These symptoms may include – chest pain, discomfort in other body parts, shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness. When you have any of these symptoms, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately. As every minute counts when it comes to treating a heart attack, the longer the heart muscle goes without enough blood and oxygen, the more damage it can sustain.


The recovery process from a heart attack can vary greatly from person to person. It may take several weeks or months to fully recover and return to normal activities. It is important to follow the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare provider and make lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.

The long-term effects of a heart attack depend on the extent of damage to the heart muscle and the individual's overall health. Some people may experience ongoing chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, or difficulty with physical activity. In some cases, a heart attack can lead to heart failure, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), or death.

Visit a doctor when you are suffering from heart problems!