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Heart attack

Heart attack
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Causes of a heart attack

Like all other tissues and organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. If the blood supply to the heart is suddenly interrupted, heart muscles may be damaged and begin to die.

If this is not treated, heart muscles will experience irreversible damage. If a large portion of the heart is damaged in this way, the heart will stop beating (a cardiac arrest), resulting in death.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of heart attacks. CHD is a condition in which the coronary arteries (the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood) get clogged up with deposits of cholesterol. These deposits are called 'plaques'.

During a heart attack, one of the plaques ruptures (bursts), causing a blood clot to develop at the site of the rupture. The clot may then block the supply of blood running through the coronary arteries to the heart, triggering a heart attack.

Last reviewed: September 2016

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Heart attack

A heart attack happens when there is a sudden complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart. As a result, some of your heart muscle begins to die. Without early medical treatment, this damage can be permanent.

Read more on WA Health website

Chest pain

If in doubt about the cause of your chest pain, call an ambulance.

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Familial hypercholesterolaemia

Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an inherited disorder in which the livers ability to remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly known as bad cholesterol from the blood is impaired, causing an elevated overall blood cholesterol level. Without early detection and treatment people with FH are at increased risk of premature coronary artery disease, heart attack and early death.

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Angina pectoris - Lab Tests Online AU

Angina pectoris is a term for chest pain caused by the heart not getting enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen is also called myocardial ischaemia. Although the arteries supplying the heart may provide enough blood (and therefore oxygen) for daily activities, this may not be possible at high-demand times such as during exercise (even just walking), stress or extreme temperatures. The symptoms may disappear when, for example, exercise is stopped. An attack of angina means that you are at increased risk of a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction or AMI) and should see a doctor right away.

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Angina

What is Angina? Learn the difference between angina and heart attack, types of angina and what to do if you have angina.

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CK-MB - Lab Tests Online AU

To determine if you have had a heart attack. However, this test is rarely used now; instead doctors usually request troponin.

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Creatine kinase - Lab Tests Online AU

To determine if muscles in your body have been damaged. Previously used to determine if you are havinga heart attack.

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