Myocardial Infarction vs. Heart Failure

Myocardial infarction, also commonly referred to as a heart attack, and heart failure are often thought of as the same condition, but they are in fact two separate conditions.  

Unpacking Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial infarction or a heart attack happens when the blood flow to the heart muscle gets severely restricted abruptly. This can damage the tissue due to oxygen deprivation. The most probable reason for a heart attack is a blood clot getting lodged in a blood vessel.

Depending on the severity of obstruction and how much of the heart tissue gets impacted, the severity of a heart attack varies. An individual is at a higher risk of heart attack if they are a male over a certain age, over their ideal weight, have hypertension as well as high LDL cholesterol, and also if they smoke.

Understanding Heart Failure

Heart failure, however, relates to the collapse of the heart’s pumping function. If an individual has heart failure, their heart pumps with less efficacy, leading to a reduced amount of blood flow at every heartbeat. Heart failure does not refer to a complete breakdown of all functions; it just means that the heart can only function in a limited capacity. Myocardial infarction and heart failure are linked in that the former can be the cause of the latter.

Because a part of your heart muscle can perish due to myocardial infarction, following a myocardial infarction, your heart’s capability to pump blood properly gets affected negatively. Hypertension, excess alcohol consumption, and existing conditions that affect heart valves also increase the risk of heart failure.  

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© Hriana

Posted on May 5, 2023