Heart Attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction)
A clot most often forms in a coronary artery that has become narrow because of the build-up of a substance called plaque along the artery walls. Sometimes, the plaque cracks and triggers a blood clot to form.
Occasionally, sudden overwhelming stress can trigger a heart attack.
It is difficult to estimate exactly how common heart attacks are because as many as 200,000 to 300,000 people in the United States die each year before medical help is sought. It is estimated that approximately 1 million patients visit the hospital each year with a heart attack. About 1 out of every 5 deaths are due to a heart attack.
Risk factors for heart attack and coronary artery disease include:
- Bad genes (hereditary factors)
- Being male
- Getting older
- High blood pressure
- Too much fat in your diet
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels, especially high LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low HDL ("good") cholesterol
- Balloon Angioplasty
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Coronary Stent (Drug Eluting Stent)
- Heart Bypass (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery - CABG)
- Prevention, Screening and Rehabilitation