Heart Attack Law and Legal Definition

A heart attack occurs when an area of heart muscle dies or is permanently damaged because of a lack of oxygen to that area. Heart attacks are most often caused by a clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The clot usually forms in a coronary artery that has been previously narrowed from changes related to atherosclerosis. The atherosclerotic plaque inside the arterial wall sometimes cracks, and leads to the formation of a clot. Heart attacks may also be caused by sudden and extreme stress. A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction.

Some of the risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Too much fat in your diet
  • Poor blood cholesterol levels, especially high LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low HDL ("good") cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Male gender
  • Age
  • Heredity