What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it?

What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it?
One of the leading cause of deaths worldwide is myocardial infarction, known as cardiac arrest in general terms. The heart is one of the most vital organ in the human body. It starts beating from the sixth week of pregnancy and pumps the blood till the death.

So what causes myocardial infarction or heart attack?: What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it?

Oxygen has to be constantly supplied to all the organs of the body through blood. When the supply of this oxygen rich blood is blocked to reach some portions of heart, it causes heart attack. The blockage in the artery providing the oxygen rich blood is blocked by plaque which is formed within the artery and it prevents the flow of blood causing a certain part of heart to starve off oxygen . In medical terminology it is called coronary thrombosis or is sometimes termed cardiac arrest. Heart attack can also be caused due to a spasm wherein the artery gets narrowed leading to blockage of blood to certain muscle of heart. This muscle gets damaged due to the attack and needs immediate attention. Some people even get a silent attack where none of the symptoms of heart attack are experienced.

Symptoms of heart attack : What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it?

  1. discomfort and pain in chest area
  2. shortness of breath
  3. vomiting
  4. Intense cough
  5. Sweat on face and palms
  6. Drop in body temperature.

The symptoms of heart attack can persist from few minutes to few hours and the patient takes a long time to get back to normal pace.
The following are the major causes of myocardial infarction/heart attack: What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it? strong>


  1. Underlying heart disease: Diseases such as angina where the supply of oxygen gets slower due to plaque formation in the arteries which supply blood to the heart.
  2. High levels of cholesterol in blood: The cholesterol causes the plaque formation leading to heart attack.
  3. High sugar level in blood.
  4. High intake of fats
  5. Genetic make up: Usually heart diseases are hereditary. Genes related to heart attack are transferred from parents to offsprings.
  6. High Blood pressure or hyper tension: It is considered as one of leading causes of myocardial infarction. The pressure causes the arteries to weaken leading to heart attack.
  7. Smoking: Studies have revealed that smokers have double the risk of getting heart attack compared to non smokers.Smoking causes damage to the arteries by providng high levels of carbon monoxide in the blood .
  8. Passive smoking.
  9. Sedentary lifestyle and obesity are another major causes. Exercising regularly is best to maintain a healthy heart.

How can a heart attack be detected.: What is a myocardial infarction and what causes it?
The following are the medical procedures adopted to find out if a person has suffered an attack.


  1. ECG : An electro Cardiovascular Graph is the best way to detect an heart attack.The Electro Cardiovascular Gaph detects the heart signals and lets a doctor know whether the heart is working properly or not and detects any myocardial damage which has occurred to the heart.
  2. Chest X-rays: These also reveal whether a person has experienced a heart attack.
  3. Blood tests: The enzymes and triglyceride levels present in the blood fluctuate during an attack so blood tests reveal whether a person had an attack .
  4. Echo test: The echocardiogram test sends echos to the muscles of the heart and based on the readings the cardiologist may provide the condition of tthe heart.
  5. Angiogram: In this procedure a small tube known as catherer is inserted into the artery via the groin area and the heart is monitored on x ray.
  6. Stress test: This involves measuring of the heart stamina.
  7. MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging also helps in providing the heart status.

It is best to approach a heart specialist immediately as soon as the symptoms of myocardial infarction occur or call for emergency help and the patient should be approached to a near by medical centre.