Why it is so important to know what a heart attack is? When you know what a heart attack is you can take the proper steps to prevent one. Also, knowing what a heart attack is could protect someone who has already had an attack from having another one. Each year a vast number of people have heart attacks and some lose their life as a result. Knowing what a heart attack is can take you one simple step closer to being heart healthy.
What is a heart attack? A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. When blood is prevented from being carried to the heart, a heart attack occurs. The heart pumps oxygen and nutrient filled blood to the body. Cells in the heart muscle need this oxygen rich blood. When oxygen rich blood does not reach the heart muscle, the cells begin to die. Treatment to restore blood flow should be received immediately. Damage to the heart increases the longer one waits to receive treatment.
What causes a heart attack and blocks the blood supply to the heart? The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. If plaque or fatty substances begin to build in the arteries an area of plaque can break open or rupture. As a result, a blood clot will form on the surface of the plaque. Most or all blood flow through the coronary artery can be blocked if the clot becomes big enough. This is what causes a heart attack. If the blood clot stops the blood flow a heart attack can take place.
What is a heart attack in relation to coronary heart disease? Coronary heart disease also called coronary artery disease is a major cause of heart attacks. Coronary heart disease or CHD is when plaque, a waxy substance, builds inside the coronary arteries. Sadly, it is the primary cause of death in the United States. It is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States. So, if you have CHD it is important to take proper care of your health to avoid an attack.
What other conditions cause heart attacks? Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up in the arteries over a course of many years. A severe spasm or tightening of the artery is a less common cause of a heart attack. Blood flow through the artery is cut off by the spasm.
How can you be heart healthy to prevent a heart attack? A heart healthy and overall healthy diet can help to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack. Maintaining a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can help to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight helps you to stay heart healthy and reduces your risk of having an attack. Avoid smoking and even second hand smoke to stay heart healthy. Smoking increases your risk of CHD and heart attack.
What is a heart attack to your health? Millions of people have heart attacks each year. A large number of those people die as a result. Once you know what causes a heart attack you can make the best heart healthy choices. Learn and inform others on what a heart attack is and protect your heart. Follow the proper diet and exercise and if you or someone else has a heart attack call 9-1-1 right away. Make heart healthy habits a part of your family’s lifestyle and save lives.
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