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Medical Dictionary

heart attack

noun

Medical Definition of heart attack

  1. :  an acute episode of coronary 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 artery becoming blocked by a blood clot formed in response to a ruptured or torn fatty arterial deposit Symptoms of heart attack include discomfort or pain in the chest, shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw, shortness of breath, dizziness or light-headedness, heartburn, nausea, excessive sweating, and extreme fatigue. <When a patient is in the throes of a heart attack, the physician's goal is restoring adequate blood flow to the starving heart muscle as swiftly as possible.—Harvard Medical School Health Letter, May 1993> <It has long been known that aspirin helps prevent blood clots … and many studies have shown that the drug can reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.—Peter Aldhous, Science, 7 Jan. 1994>—called also acute myocardial infarction, myocardial infarction; compare angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, heart failure 1





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