CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart attack. Gross clinical specimen of a sectioned heart after a heart attack (myocardial infarction). The wall of the left ventricle is seen here. A heart attack occurs when an area of the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, which leads to the death of that area. This prevents the normal beating of the heart, and can be rapidly fatal. Heart attacks are a common cause of death. They are linked to a sedentary lifestyle, stress, obesity and cigarette smoking. A heart attack causes agonising chest pain, which may extend down the left arm. Given prompt medical treatment many people survive, but lifestyle changes and surgery are often required to prolong life.
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