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Definition of HEART ATTACK
: an acute episode of heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart usually as a result of a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion and that is characterized especially by chest pain —called also myocardial infarction
Her chest pains turned out to be caused by a minor heart attack.
He died of a massive heart attack.
First Known Use of HEART ATTACK
Medical Definition of HEART ATTACK
: an acute episode of heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle usually as a result of a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion and that is characterized especially by chest pain—called also myocardial infarction; compare angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, heart failure 1
Death of a section of heart muscle when its blood supply is cut off, usually by a blood clot in a coronary artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and coronary heart disease increase the risk. Symptoms include severe chest pain, often radiating to the left arm, and shortness of breath. Up to 20% of victims die before reaching the hospital. Diagnosis is done by electrocardiography and by analysis for enzymes in the blood. Treatment aims to limit the area of tissue death (infarct) and prevent and treat complications. Thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) drugs may be administered. Beta-blockers alleviate pain and slow the heart rate. Angioplasty or coronary bypass restores blood flow to heart muscle. Follow-up may include drugs, exercise programs, and counseling on diet and lifestyle changes.