Myocardial Infarction Essay

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: Introduction: In December of 1992, my paternal grandfather suffered a heart attack. He had been hauling several 50 lb. sacks of corn up into the deer feeder on his property by himself. He got into his truck, turned the ignition, put it into drive and before he could take his foot off the brake, he was dead. He was 68 years old. I was thirteen and that seemed so old. I remember that prior to the event there were many conversations within my family about the condition of my grandfather’s heart and cardiovascular system and how he needed to make lifestyle changes. I remember him taking nitroglycerine pills. I remember him coming to Dallas to go to an appointment so that they could perform tests with names like “stress EKG.” I…show more content…
2 III: Myocardial Infarction: Pathophysiology The most common physiological process leading to a myocardial infarction is the occlusion of coronary arteries by a process known as atherosclerosis. In fact, atherosclerosis is present in more than 90% of persons with coronary heart disease.1 Atherosclerosis is the process in which substances known as plaques, which are made up of cholesterol and platelets, adhere to tears in the walls of arteries. Over time these plaques build up to the point where they occlude blood flow in the arteries. When this happens in the coronary arteries, either directly, as the result of buildup in the arteries themselves, indirectly in the form a clot from another part of the body breaking loose and becoming lodged in the coronary arteries, the usual result is a heart attack.3 Many risk factors can contribute to this process. Some of them like age, gender and genetics are non-modifiable, meaning there is not much that can be done about them. Others, like drug abuse, smoking, stress, diet and exercise are modifiable, meaning an individual has control over them.3 Among the non-modifiable risk factors, age plays a role because naturally, over time, body tissues become weaker and more prone to damage, therefore more prone to attracting the attachment of cholesterol and platelet plaques. Genetics contributes by causing some individuals to be more prone to high cholesterol and high blood

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