February is Heart Month!
Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body.
The leading cause of death in men and women is heart disease. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. For many people, the first sign of CAD is a heart attack.
According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that together are called plaque. This slow process is known as atherosclerosis. When plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle.
When the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack.