- A heart attack is also known as a “myocardial infarction”.
- A heart attack occurs when the blood supply flowing through the arteries that feed the heart (AKA a coronary artery) is cut off, resulting in damage or death to part of the heart muscle.
- Blockage in the coronary artery is generally caused by severe arterial damage, the result of years of plaque buildup in the artery walls, a progressive disease process called “atherosclerosis”.
- Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the pipes that feed the heart muscle, which is why you will hear doctors refer to the disease as “coronary artery disease” (CAD).
- Heart attacks are the primary cause of death of American men and women; every twenty-five seconds, an American will suffer a heart attack, and once a minute someone will die from one.
- About one-sixth of all heart attacks are “silent,” meaning the person who suffers one is unaware it takes place; silent heart attacks can damage the heart muscle.
- Occasionally, a blockage in a coronary artery will cause a disturbance in the electrical rhythm of the heart; this is termed an “arrhythmia” and can cause sudden death.
- A healthy Mediterranean lifestyle can reduce the risk of a heart attack by as much as 92 percent.
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