How Can You Prevent a Myocardial Infarction?


Quick Answer

The prevention of myocardial infarction, or heart attack, may involve a combination of medications and lifestyle changes, according to Mayo Clinic. Controlling high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes is also part of preventative care, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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Full Answer

A heart attack occurs when heart muscle cells die from oxygen deprivation due to a blocked coronary artery. Coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscle with oxygenated blood, are often blocked as a result of atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of fatty plaque and other materials in the artery. Most heart attacks are caused by atherosclerosis when plaque is released, which leads to the formation of blood clots, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The common symptoms of a heart attack include nausea, indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, sudden dizziness, fatigue and a cold sweat. It is also signified by a pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in the chest or arms that may spread to the neck, jaw or back, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms may also include vomiting, irregular heartbeat and feelings of doom, adds the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Lifestyle changes may also help individuals prevent or recover from a heart attack. These include smoking cessation, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a heart-healthy diet, managing stress and drinking in moderation, according to Mayo Clinic.

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