Do you know the 5 types of a heart attacks?

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to your heart muscle is blocked. The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, which narrows the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to your heart. A heart attack can cause severe chest pain, radiating to the shoulders, arms, and even jaw, along with nausea and vomiting. But it’s important to know that a heart attack isn’t always accompanied by these classic symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to learn all about the 5 types of heart attacks you should know about in order to prevent yours from happening.

What is a heart attack?

Having some knowledge about what is a heart attack can save your life. The term heart attack generally refers to myocardial infarction or MI, which occurs when one or more coronary arteries become blocked by a blood clot, causing the death of a portion of the heart muscle (myocardium). This can lead to serious medical conditions such as angina and sudden cardiac death.

Coronary artery spasm Heart Attacks

The first type is called coronary artery spasm. In these cases, blood flow to your heart muscle is temporarily interrupted due to an ongoing problem with your coronary arteries. This type of heart attack occurs in about 10% of all cases and results in mild symptoms for most people. The spasms can occur anywhere along a specific part (called an A-V groove) within each coronary artery.

STEMI Heart Attacks

STEMI is an acronym for ST-elevation myocardial infarction. STEMI’s are by far one of the most serious kinds of heart attacks, and they can potentially be fatal if not treated within a certain time frame. Doctors usually classify a patient as having suffered from a STEMI if a significant portion (30 percent or more) of their heart muscle has died due to lack of blood flow.

NSTEMI Heart Attacks

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states that NSTEMI is a type of heart attack characterized by insufficient blood flow to an area in or around your heart. It is also called ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Your doctor may diagnose an NSTEMI based on your symptoms and information from diagnostic tests such as echocardiography, cardiac CT scan, stress testing, and more. STEMIs should be treated urgently with medications to get more blood flowing through narrowed arteries.

Demand Ischemia Heart Attacks

Also known as demand ischemia, these occur when an artery that supplies blood to a part of your heart muscle becomes narrowed or blocked. Demand ischemia also is associated with high cholesterol and can cause chest pain, which may make it seem like a regular heart attack. However, demand ischemia usually doesn’t last as long and has fewer signs and symptoms than other types of heart attacks.

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