In Mexico, almost 150 thousand people die each year from heart disease. However, the Acute myocardial infarctions are the heart disease that claims the most lives in the country.
Álvaro Contreras Villasenor, an academic from the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explains what is this disease, what are its symptoms and how to prevent it.
What is an acute myocardial infarction?
“The acute myocardial infarction it is the abrupt occlusion of the blood flow, which can occur because a patient has anemia or bleeding and not enough blood reaches the heart ”, indicates Contreras Villaseñor.
They are originated by because in the cardiac arteries Plaques of calcium and cholesterol form that obstruct them and do not allow the adequate amount of blood to reach the heart muscle, although they can also develop from inflammatory heart diseases.
“What happens in these heart arteries is similar to what happens in a pipe that gradually fills with tartar, until nothing can pass through it.”
What’s more, in heart attacks the cholesterol plaques that accumulate in the arteries They can cause them to break, inflammatory substances that are harmful to the body and that generate oxidative stress, in addition to that when they leave the blood circulation an inflammatory and thrombotic reaction is generated, says the expert.
“It is as if the body thinks that there is active bleeding in that place and sends platelets, activates fibrin and forms thrombi to prevent us from bleeding to death.”
“This is part of the coagulation and healing method, but when it happens within the arteries of the heart it causes a heart attack, because there clots are formed that block the blood lumen and blood stops reaching where it should go ”, the specialist points out.
What are the symptoms?
Although symptoms may vary, those who have suffered it frequently refer:
- Oppressive chest pain
- Irrigation of pain to the left arm or jaw
- Feeling of having a bowel movement
What causes them?
According to the expert, the obstruction of the arteries It is the product of some habits developed throughout people’s lives, such as: poor diet, other diseases, and smoking.
“In heart attacks, the cholesterol plaques that accumulate in the arteries can cause them to rupture, inflammatory substances that are harmful to the body and that generate oxidative stress come out.”
How to prevent an acute myocardial infarction?
Experts in heart health recommend:
- Have a heart-healthy diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol
- Control blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides
- Have good weight control
- Perform physical exercise
- Do not smoke or consume alcoholic beverages
“An important part to face acute myocardial infarctions is patient education, since you can count on the necessary infrastructure and experience to deal with these types of health problems, but the fundamental thing is that people are informed about what symptoms they can report that they are having a heart attack and have a timely diagnosis ”, indicated the academic.
Heart disease in Mexico
Among the main heart diseases responsible for the death of Mexicans are: ischemic, hypertensive, pulmonary circulation, chronic rheumatic heart diseases or other heart diseases.