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The Association for Eradication of Heart Attack is dedicated to ending the threat of heart attack by promoting the advancement of the science and the practice of heart attack prevention, detection and treatment.
It is difficult to imagine a future in which the threat of heart attack no longer exists. Heart attacks have become so much a part of our daily lives that we take them as a natural and almost inevitable cause of death. However, thanks to recent breakthroughs that revolutionized the field of heart disease and unraveled the causal chain of heart attack, namely atherosclerosis (the accumulation of fatty plaque) and athero-thrombosis (plaques that cause clot formation and clog the arteries), the idea of eradicating heart attack is now within reach. Our generation has witnessed two major developments in cardiology that move us closer to prevention and, eventually, eradication of heart attack. First, scientists have revolutionized our understanding of the basic science of atherosclerosis. In the past, traditional risk factors such as high cholesterol and aging were considered the main cause of heart attack. Today, cardiovascular scientists have determined that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. It results from the bodyÃ Â Ã Â¢Ã Â Ã Â Ã Â Ã Â s response to the injury and inflammation in the coronary arteries. Such injury is caused by known and unknown risk factors that stimulate bodyÃ Â Ã Â¢Ã Â Ã Â Ã Â Ã Â s immune system. Second, the clinical science of athero-thrombosis has helped pinpoint the immediate cause of most heart attacks. Scientists have found that in most victims, a heart attack is caused by a sudden clot formation in segments of coronary arteries where the lumen had minimum blockage before the attack. However, inside the wall of the artery they found inflamed fat build-up covered with a thin cap that makes it vulnerable to rupture. The discovery of these rupture-prone vulnerable plaques has made it possible to identify patients who are at risk of a heart attack in the near future. These discoveries have opened the door to new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to challenge the dilemma of unpredicted heart attacks. These new tools include advanced imaging technologies as well as novel therapies, such as anti-inflammatory therapies, immune modulations and vaccination strategies. AEHA is certain that these advances will continue to accelerate and, within the next quarter century, will lead to major breakthroughs such as a vaccine for atherosclerosis that can ultimately eliminate the threat of heart attack.
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