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What happens when the heart does not get enough blood?

A lack of blood to the heart usually causes pain, either in the chest, jaw, back or arm. If there is a total loss of blood to an area of the heart, that portion of the heart muscle dies. This is known as a heart attack or myocardial infarction.
When the heart tissue does not receive an adequate blood supply, it cannot function as well as it should. If the myocardium's (specialized muscle tissue) blood supply is decreased for a length of time, a condition called ischemia may develop. Ischemia can decrease the heart's pumping ability, because the heart muscle is weakened due to a lack of food and oxygen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.