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

Calculations of Cardiovascular Risk are Outdated, Study Finds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.
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.

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."