Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked. The most common cause is fatty...
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Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked. The most common cause is fatty deposits called plaque in the coronary arteries, which supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Plaque build-up begins as early as childhood, when fat is deposited in the arteries. As you get older, other substances such as protein, cholesterol, white blood cells and calcium are also deposited contributing to the build-up. This build up of plaque is called Coronary Artery Disease. If the heart muscle does not get enough blood and oxygen to meet its needs, a person may experience angina, a type of chest pain. If the plaque build-up breaks open, the body tries to fix it by forming a clot. This clot can block the coronary artery and prevent the flow of blood and oxygen to the point that the heart muscle dies, causing a heart attack.