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

CardioSmart News

Optimism Improves Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Chest Pain

Mar 06, 2018

Study finds that having a positive outlook could mean fewer hospitalizations for those with chronic angina.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking Far Outweigh Risks of Weight Gain

Feb 04, 2018
Smokers should not hesitate to quit smoking.

Current Guidelines Fail to Identify Young Adults at Risk for Early Heart Attack

Jan 22, 2018
Study highlights a missed opportunity for providing preventive treatment to young adults.

Study Clarifies How Often We Should Measure Calcium in the Arteries

Dec 21, 2017
Repeat testing for coronary artery calcium has little benefit for certain patients.

Moderate Exercise Reduces Risk of Death in Women

Dec 14, 2017
A study of more than 17,000 women links physical activity to a longer, healthier life.

Half of Patients with Ideal Cholesterol Have Underlying Heart Risks

Dec 14, 2017
Many patients with optimal health have dangerous plaque build-up in their arteries.

Medication Adherence Remains Challenging for Heart Patients

Dec 12, 2017
Taking medication as directed is critical to improving outcomes.

The Heart Health Benefits of Nuts

Nov 14, 2017
A recent study links peanuts and walnuts to significantly reduced risk for heart disease.
I am CardioSmart

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Contest

Oct 31, 2017

Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

Gestational Diabetes Increases Women's Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

Oct 25, 2017

The onset of high blood sugar during pregnancy serves as an early warning sign for future heart risks.

Tai Chi Boosts Quality of Life in Patients with Heart Disease

Oct 25, 2017

Tai chi shows promise for people with heart disease who decline traditional rehab programs.

One in Twelve Deaths Could be Prevented with Regular Exercise

Oct 17, 2017

Getting the recommended levels of exercise significantly reduces risk for heart attack and death, study finds.

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Helps Keep the Mind Intact

Oct 16, 2017
Experts provide simple yet effective strategies for protecting cognitive health as we age.

Continued Use of Low-Dose Aspirin is Critical for Preventing Heart Events

Oct 02, 2017
Stopping aspirin use is linked to 30% increased risk for heart attack, stroke and other heart problems.

Skipping Breakfast Spells Trouble for Heart Health

Oct 02, 2017
A wholesome breakfast is one of many choices that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

Hospitals Miss a Golden Opportunity to Help Heart Patients Quit Smoking

Sep 07, 2017
After a heart event is a prime time to encourage medication to help smokers quit.

Disadvantaged Children Face Increased Heart Risks

Aug 30, 2017

Children from poorer families show signs of worsening heart health even before their teenage years.

Heath Effects of Calcium Build-up in Arteries is More Complex than Previously Thought

Aug 24, 2017

The size and density of coronary artery calcium have contrasting effects on risk for heart disease.

New Guidelines Fine-Tune Heart Screenings in Young Athletes

Aug 17, 2017
Refined testing would save health care costs while still detecting serious heart conditions.

Too Much Salt Puts Added Stress on Heart

Aug 17, 2017
A recent study confirms that consuming more than 3,700 mg of sodium daily taxes the heart.

Free Online Tool Helps Predict Heart Risks in Young Adults

Aug 16, 2017
The Healthy Heart Score analyzes key lifestyle factors that affect heart health, like smoking, weight, exercise and diet.

Many Adults Unaware of Their Need to Improve Heart Health

Jun 28, 2017

Study finds one in five adults at risk for heart disease feels no need to improve health.

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.

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."