What is a Myocardial infarction?

Bernie Sanders made news this week when he suspended his presidential campaign after being rushed to the hospital.

Upon being released, his doctors announced that the 78-year-old had suffered a Myocardial infarction. A rash of Google searches for the term followed.

So, what exactly is a Myocardial infarction? This one is easy to explain. A Myocardial infarction is the official medical term for what the rest of us know as a heart attack.

But, since you’re here and you’re not actually five, you may be interested in a few details about what happens when a person has a heart attack.

Put simply, a heart attack is usually caused by a blockage in a coronary artery, which causes blood flow to parts of the heart to severely decrease or stop entirely.

According to the CDC 610,000 people in the United States die of a heart attack each year. That’s 25 percent of all deaths. 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.

Even more frightening, the CDC says 20 percent of heart attacks are silent, meaning the victim is unaware that anything has happened, but the damage has already been done. In essence, you could have a heart attack and not know it.

The average age for a first heart attack in men is 66. The average age for women is 70.


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