Man grabbing chest with chest pains

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), happens when the coronary artery, a blood vessel that leads to the heart muscle, is blocked and blood can’t get through. The heart needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to function, and the heart muscle will be damaged without it. Coronary arteries become blocked when cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaque) build up on the inner walls of the arteries. If the plaque breaks open, blood clots can form around it, completely blocking

the artery and possibly causing a heart attack. The longer an artery stays blocked, the more damage is done to the heart muscle and the result can be permanent.


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