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Care Transitions:  Myocardial Infarction - Part 1

May 29, 2012

Myocardial Infarction is commonly referred to as a heart attack.  It is the death of heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot.  Coronary arteries are blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen.  Blockage of a coronary artery deprives the heart muscle of blood and oxygen, causing injury to the muscle.  Injury to the heart muscle, of course, cause chest pressure sensation or chest pain.

According to the CDC, myocardial infarction has been the leading cause of death in the United States for 80 years, and is a major cause of disability.  Interestingly enough, prevention of the disease is pretty straight forward.  Again, according to the CDC, there are five key areas in which you can impact your own likelihood of contracting heart disease:

  1. Eat healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables.  Avoid high fat, high cholesterol items.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight - obesity has been cleary linked to heart disease.
  3. Exercise regularly - If you exercise regularly, you will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight, and it will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4. Don't smoke.  We've already discussed it's impact on the lungs, but it's impact on the heart can be just as devastating.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption - too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

Stay tuned - our next blog will discuss the symptoms of Myocardial Infarction.