Heart attacks happen when an artery supplying your heart with blood and oxygen becomes blocked, usually by a blood clot. The most common underlying cause of blood clots is coronary heart disease (CHD), a process whereby coronary arteries (the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood) become clogged with deposits of cholesterol. These deposits are called plaques.
As the health site explains, a spasm can decrease or completely block blood flow to part of the heart.
“If a spasm lasts long enough, you can have chest pain (angina) and even a heart attack (myocardial infarction),” notes the health body.
Unlike typical angina, which usually occurs with physical activity, coronary artery spasms often occur at rest, typically between midnight and early morning, it notes.
How to reduce your risk
According to Harvard Health, in a relatively healthy individual, a coronary artery spasm doesn’t usually have long-term consequences.
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In someone with clogged coronary arteries or a weakened heart, though, the effects can be potentially deadly.
It is therefore imperative to keep your heart healthy to reduce the risk of a spasm that triggers a full-blown heart attack.
How to boost your heart health
A heart-healthy diet plays a pivotal role in keeping your heart healthy.
The diet that comes on top is the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.
There is a mountain of evidence that attests to the diet’s heart-healthy benefits but one of the most notable findings is that nearly halves your risk of heart disease, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session.
The study found that adults who closely followed the Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease over a 10-year period compared to similar adults who did not closely follow the diet.
The study was based on data from a representative sample of more than 2,500 Greek adults, aged 18 to 89, who provided researchers with their health information each year from 2001 to 2012.
Participants also completed in-depth surveys about their medical records, lifestyle and dietary habits at the start of the study, after five years and after 10 years.
The researchers scored participants’ diets on a scale from one to 55 based on their self-reported frequency and level of intake for 11 food groups.
Those who scored in the top-third in terms of adherence to the Mediterranean diet, indicating they closely followed the diet, were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease over the 10-year follow-up period as compared to participants who scored in the bottom-third, indicating they did not closely follow the diet.
Each one-point increase in the dietary score was associated with a three percent drop in heart disease risk.
Published at Wed, 10 Jun 2020 20:53:00 +0000