Harvard Heart Letter

Redefining myocardial infarction

The latest definition should mean fewer missed heart attacks.

A heart attack — myocardial infarction in doctor-speak — isn't an instantly recognizable event. Some attacks are so small they pass almost unnoticed, written off as indigestion or the flu. Others are major catastrophes, causing death or long-lasting disability. What they all have in common is the death of heart muscle caused by a lack of blood flow to part of the heart.

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