Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease, which is when a gradual build-up of atheroma (fatty material) within the walls of coronary arteries cause them to narrow. If the atheroma becomes unstable, a piece may break off and form a blood clot.
This clot can block the coronary artery, starving the heart of blood and oxygen and causing damage to the heart muscle. This is a heart attack. It is also calledacute coronary syndrome,myocardial infarction or coronary thrombosis.
A heart attack is life threatening. If you think you or anyone else is having a heart attack, you should phone 999 for an ambulance immediately.
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