How can a blocked artery bring on a heart attack?
Heart muscle needs a supply of oxygen-rich blood, and if the coronary arteries that provide it get narrow, blood can’t flow very well. Fatty matter, calcium, proteins, and inflammatory cells can form plaques in the arteries.
With plaque buildup, less oxygen gets to heart muscle, and that can bring chest pain.
If the surface of the plaque cracks, clots can form around it -- like a scab. If a clot blocks the artery, heart muscle cells die, causing permanent damage. This is a heart attack.
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