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

Yo-Yo Dieting May Be Harmful for Patients with Heart Disease

Jun 06, 2017
Study links body weight fluctuation to increased risk for heart attack, stroke and death in patients with heart disease.

Coronary Artery Calcification Likely the Best Marker of Heart Health

May 16, 2017

Checking for calcium build-up in the heart’s arteries identifies patients at increased risk for heart disease, finds study.

Gum Disease and Tooth Loss Linked to Heart Risks in Older Women

May 10, 2017

Maintaining healthy gums may help reduce risk for heart disease.

CardioSmart News

Replacing Aspirin with Prescription Blood Thinner Appears Safe after Heart Attack

Apr 18, 2017

A stronger combination of blood thinners may be safe in heart attack patients, finds study.

Experts Help Clarify Who Should Take Fish Oil Supplements

Apr 13, 2017

Current research shows a lack of evidence to recommend fish oil supplements to the general population.

CardioSmart News

New Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Shows Promise for Patients with Heart Disease

Mar 28, 2017

PCSK9 inhibitors lower LDL and risk for heart complications, but access to the drug is an issue for many.

Healthy Lifestyle Prevents Heart Events in Chinese Adults

Mar 08, 2017

A large Chinese study highlights the power of prevention.

Experts Raise Awareness of a New Lipid Disorder

Feb 06, 2017
Treating a lesser-known lipid disorder may help patients reduce risk for heart disease.

Heart Failure Rates on the Rise, Show Latest Statistics

Feb 01, 2017

While heart failure has become an increasing concern, overall death rates from heart disease declined by 25% in recent years.

Understanding Depression and Heart Disease

Jan 30, 2017
Depression may be as big a risk factor as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, research suggests.

Raising Awareness for Early Signs of Heart Attack

Jan 27, 2017

Most younger heart patients experience warning signs in the week before a heart attack but few take action, finds study.

Alcohol Abuse Doubles Risk for Heart Disease

Jan 21, 2017

The negative health effects of alcohol abuse are similar to that of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, finds study.

Healthy Lifestyle Helps Offset Genetic Risk for Heart Disease

Nov 15, 2016
For patients with high genetic risk for heart disease, healthy lifestyle choices nearly cut risk in half, finds study.

A New Strategy to Prevent One Million Heart Attacks and Strokes

Nov 04, 2016
Experts hope to reduce heart attack and stroke rates by coupling a new risk estimation tool with a new insurance model.

Aspirin Use Remains Controversial in Patients without Heart Disease

Oct 27, 2016

Weighing risks and benefits of daily aspirin for primary prevention of heart disease remains challenging.

Flu Vaccine Critical for People with Heart Disease

Oct 25, 2016
Experts argue that the flu vaccine could be life-saving.

Exercising While Angry Increases Risk for Heart Attack

Oct 20, 2016

The effects of extreme emotion and vigorous exercise on the heart are multiplied when combined.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 17, 2016

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in March 2017!

Young Adults May Lose Interest in Sex After Heart Attack

Oct 01, 2016
High stress levels and diabetes significantly increased patients’ chances of experiencing sex problems in the year after heart attack.

ACC Partners with Google to Share Reliable Heart Health Information

Sep 20, 2016
“Ask a Doctor” feature promotes patient-provider engagement.

The Importance of Promoting Heart Health in Children

Sep 17, 2016
Experts highlight early education about heart health for prevention later in life.

Despite Statins, Familial Hypercholesterolemia Doubles Risk for Second Heart Attack

Aug 27, 2016

Study authors emphasize screening for the genetic disorder that causes dangerously high cholesterol.

Chocolate Protects Against Heart Attack

Aug 02, 2016

Three or more servings of chocolate a week reduces risk of heart attack, finds study.

Sleep Deprivation Takes a Toll on Heart Health

Jul 28, 2016

Many studies show that a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on heart health, but few have determined why.

CardioSmart News

Treatment Lags for Heart Attack Patients With Prior Surgery

Jun 30, 2016
Patients with history of angioplasty or who had no previous interventions are treated faster, study finds.

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."