Heart Attack

Heart attacks happen when the heart's blood supply is suddenly cut off, making immediate care critical.

Learn more about Heart Attack

A common sleep disorder can increase your risk of heart attack.

Learn about Sleep Apnea

Your heart muscle needs oxygen and nutrients to work as it should. A heart attack (your doctor may call it a myocardial infarction) usually occurs when blood flow to the heart is suddenly cut off. When this happens, the heart muscle is starved of oxygen-rich blood. In just a short period of time, part of the heart can be damaged or die. That’s why immediate care is critical—it can spare your heart and save your life. If you think you are having a heart attack, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

If you’ve had a heart attack, you know how scary it can be. And you’re not alone: about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.

Unfortunately, once you’ve had a heart attack, your chance of having another one is higher. But, there are steps you can take to protect your heart. Taking prescribed medications, following an exercise program tailored to you, maintaining a healthy weight and being careful about what you eat can all help keep your heart healthy. Controlling your blood pressure and lowering cholesterol are also important steps to help prevent another heart attack.

No two heart attacks are the same. If you’ve already had a heart attack, listen to your body. A repeat attack may feel very different. Both men and women can feel the classic crushing chest pain or tightness (called unstable angina), but they often report very different symptoms. Some people might instinctively know it’s a heart attack, others have more subtle symptoms.

Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and getting treated right away can save your life. Use this condition center to learn more.

Heart Attack News & Events

Top CardioSmart News Articles of 2018

Dec 13, 2018

This year's most read patient summaries worth a second look.

Fluctuations in Weight, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Spell Trouble for Heart Health

Oct 23, 2018

Maintaining good health reduces risk for heart attack, stroke and death, shows Korean study of 6.7 million adults.

Racial Health Disparities Persist at Hospitals Across the Country

Sep 20, 2018

Analysis of U.S. hospital data shows that systemic issues may be to blame for health care disparities.

Anxiety and Depression Boost Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Sep 19, 2018
Australian study finds that adults with high levels of anxiety and depression are at greater risk of life-threatening heart events.
CardioSmart News

CT Imaging Improves Treatments and Outcomes in Patients with Chest Pain

Sep 19, 2018

CT imaging reduces risk of heart attack and death by 41% in patients with recurrent chest pain.

CardioSmart News

An Update to European Guidelines for Managing Heart Disease During Pregnancy

Sep 18, 2018

Updated guidelines incorporate new research to minimize complications in women with heart disease.

CardioSmart News

Study Questions Fish Oil and Daily Aspirin in Healthy Diabetic Adults

Sep 05, 2018

Recent findings fail to support use of fish oil supplements and low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease in adults with diabetes.

Children Should Avoid Diet Drinks, Advise Experts

Aug 15, 2018

Experts can’t say with certainty that artificially sweetened drinks are safe, based on a recent advisory from the American Heart Association.

Study Supports Exercising Outdoors Despite Air Quality Concerns

Aug 15, 2018

Danish study finds that the benefits of exercise far outweigh the potential risks from exposure to air pollution.

Resuming Work After Heart Attack Linked to Better Outcomes

Jul 20, 2018

Study finds that heart attack survivors who don’t return to work tend to face poorer health, financial hardship, signs of depression.

Marriage Helps Protect the Heart

Jul 20, 2018

Study of more than 2 million adults finds that being married significantly reduces risk for heart attack, stroke and death.    

Erectile Dysfunction Associated with Increased Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

Jul 13, 2018
Men with erectile dysfunction should discuss their risk for heart disease with their clinician.

Study Confirms the Heart-Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

Jul 13, 2018
A second analysis reconfirms the results of a Spanish study demonstrating that a Mediterranean diet including olive oil and nuts can reduce heart risks. 

Health Literacy is Critical to Heart Disease Prevention

Jun 29, 2018
An American Heart Association statement addresses health literacy as a barrier to heart health. 

Loneliness is Bad for the Heart

Jun 29, 2018
A lack of social support is linked to poorer health outcomes in heart patients.

OB/GYNs are Critical to Helping Fight Heart Disease in Women

Jun 12, 2018

Experts ask obstetricians and gynecologists to help educate their patients about heart disease.

Calculations of Cardiovascular Risk are Outdated, Study Finds

Jun 12, 2018

New Zealand study finds current tools greatly overestimate 5–year risk of developing heart disease.

Advances in an Alternative Procedure to Open Heart Surgery

Jun 07, 2018

Recent medical statement highlights the evolution of percutaneous coronary intervention and for which heart patients it is most appropriate.

A Closer Look at Unexplained Chest Pain

May 15, 2018

Study sheds light on the needs of those who experience chest pain but don’t have heart disease.

California Wildfires Tied to Uptick in Heart Events

May 09, 2018
Statewide study shows increased heart-related hospital visits during the 2015 wildfire season.
CardioSmart News

Wearable Defibrillators Provide Temporary Fix for Heart Attack Patients

Apr 10, 2018
The device could be lifesaving for heart attack patients at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Raising Awareness for Heart Attacks Caused by SCAD

Apr 03, 2018
Experts highlight a common cause of heart attack in young, healthy women.

Marijuana and Cocaine are Risky for Heart Attack Survivors

Mar 22, 2018

Heart attack survivors with a history of marijuana and cocaine use have worse long-term survival, finds study.

Heart Attacks Often Follow Extreme Temperature Changes

Mar 07, 2018

Climate change may increase heart attack risk, a Michigan study suggests.

CardioSmart News

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Makes Heart Attack Twice as Likely

Mar 06, 2018
Individuals with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are encouraged to discuss their heart disease risk and prevention strategies with their health care team.

Featured Video

Women often experience heart attack symptoms differently than men. It's important for a woman to be able to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and react quickly by calling 911.

Infographic: Heart Attack

Patient Resource

Featured Video

It's important for men to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, remain calm and quickly call 911. Under no circumstances should men try to "tough it out."