Main Causes of Heart Attacks in Humans

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart muscle becomes blocked, leading to damage or death of the affected tissue. Several factors contribute to this life-threatening event, and understanding these causes is crucial for preventive measures.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD):

The most common cause of heart attacks, CAD results from the buildup of plaque—a combination of fat, cholesterol, and other substances—within the coronary arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure):

Elevated blood pressure puts strain on the heart, making it work harder than normal. Over time, this increased workload can lead to heart muscle damage and increase the risk of a heart attack.


Tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can damage blood vessels and accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a major precursor to heart attacks.


Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks. Poorly managed blood sugar levels contribute to arterial damage.


Excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, is linked to various risk factors for heart attacks, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal lipid levels.

Physical Inactivity:

A sedentary lifestyle is a significant contributor to heart attacks. Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight, controls blood pressure, and promotes overall cardiovascular health.