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 911 immediately.

If you’ve had a heart attack, you know how scary it can be. And you’re not alone: More than 800,000 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

Physical distancing

Physical Distancing Helps Prevent Spread Of COVID-19, Study Finds

Jun 22, 2020
Face coverings and masks also help protect against the new coronavirus.
COVID-19 symptoms

Coronavirus and Your Heart

May 25, 2020

This video explains the main symptoms of COVID-19 and how the new coronavirus might make existing heart conditions worse.

COVID-19: When to Call 911

COVID-19: When to Call 911

May 08, 2020

Many people around the world are concerned about the new coronavirus. While it is important to protect yourself from infection, heart attacks and strokes do not stop during a pandemic.

videos

COVID-19: Call 911 for Heart Attack or Stroke Symptoms

Apr 23, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to call 911 if you or someone you know is experiencing warning signs of a heart attack or stroke.

webinar

Coronavirus and People With Heart Conditions: What You Need to Know | Webinar

Apr 06, 2020

In this Mended Hearts webinar, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief Martha Gulati offers advice on what you can do to protect your heart during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

More Research Needed to Understand Role of Statins in COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

If you are taking a statin for an underlying heart condition or to lower your chance of developing heart disease, continue to do so unless directed otherwise by your health care professional.

Cancer treatment

Statins for Breast Cancer? Maybe for Some.

Mar 23, 2020

Popular cholesterol-lowering drug linked to a lower chance of treatment-related heart failure.

High blood pressure

Alarming Uptick in Deaths Linked to High Blood Pressure, Study Shows

Mar 23, 2020
Rising death rates affect all demographic groups, with the rural South hardest hit.
Coronavirus

Heart Patients Warned of Risks from Coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020

People with heart disease seem to be at higher risk of developing serious illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Long-Term Use of Evolocumab to Treat FH is Safe and Effective, Study Shows

Mar 02, 2020
New type of treatment, called a PCSK-9 inhibitor, can lower cholesterol in people with familial hypercholesterolemia.
Marijuana

Highlighting the Concerns of Marijuana's Effects on the Heart

Feb 07, 2020
Marijuana use is associated with cardiovascular problems and can interfere with common heart medications, according to a review article.

More Research Needed to Achieve Health Equity in Preventive Care

Jan 26, 2020

Experts identify gaps in knowledge about how to put proven services into practice.

Top CardioSmart News Articles of 2019

Dec 18, 2019

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

Study Probes the Benefits of Routine Depression Screening in Heart Attack Survivors

Oct 28, 2019
Screening and treatment fails to improve outcomes among heart attack survivors.

Dog Owners Recover Better After Heart Events, Study Shows

Oct 21, 2019

The social support and physical activity that come with dog ownership can lead to better health outcomes after heart attack or stroke.

Lowering Triglycerides to Reduce Heart Risks

Oct 07, 2019

Study confirms cardiovascular benefits of lowering triglycerides with therapies including an omega-3 fatty acid.

Staying Young at Heart: It's Never Too Early to Start Healthy Habits

Oct 03, 2019

Expert recommendations help healthy individuals prevent heart disease.

Diet Soda and Sugary Drinks May Affect Lifespan, Study Finds

Sep 29, 2019
Two or more sodas a day shown to increase risk of death in nearly half a million Europeans.

Too Much and Too Little Sleep Increases Heart Attack Risk

Sep 17, 2019

Getting six to nine hours of sleep a night may reduce risk for heart attack.

Consumption of Plant-Based Proteins Could Add Years to Your Life

Sep 17, 2019

Study suggests that we eat plenty of plant-based foods, while limiting red and processed meat.

Not All Plant-Based Foods are Created Equal

Sep 13, 2019
Just because a food is vegetarian does not mean it promotes health and longevity. 

Binge Watching TV is Worse for the Heart Than a Desk Job

Jul 15, 2019

Study links TV watching, but not seated work, to increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Cholesterol Disorder Overlooked in Many Young Heart Attack Patients

Jun 19, 2019

Familial hypercholesterolemia is overlooked and undertreated.

Air Pollution Shortens Lifespan by Two Years

Jun 19, 2019

A new model suggests that death toll from air pollution is twice as high as initial estimates.

Study Supports Aggressive Blood Pressure Treatment in All Adults with Diabetes

Jun 04, 2019
Intensive blood pressure treatment isn't just for high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

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."