Heart Attack

CardioSmart can help you take back control of your life.

Sam, Heart Attack patient
Learn more about Heart Attack
I never added up the symptoms. I thought maybe it was indigestion or stress anxiety as I was heading to work.

On my next visit to the doctor, I want to be prepared.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

I'm willing to try a new treatment or medication.

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. Over a million 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

Women Less Likely to Have Chest Pain During Heart Attack

Women Less Likely to Have Chest Pain During Heart Attack

Feb 28, 2012
Atypical heart attack symptoms that every woman should know.
Heart Attack Treatment in Hispanics

Heart Attack Treatment in Hispanics

Feb 22, 2012
Disparities in heart attack treatment highlight need for quality improvement.
Inflammation and Heart Failure Risk

Inflammation and Heart Failure Risk

Jan 10, 2012
Study shows inflammation may increase risk for heart failure in men.
Heart Attack Prevention Therapies May be Beneficial for Young Men and Women

Heart Attack Prevention Therapies May be Beneficial for Young Men and Women

Dec 13, 2011

Younger, healthier set found to be at high risk.

Insomnia Increases Risk for Heart Attack

Insomnia Increases Risk for Heart Attack

Nov 21, 2011

A must-read for anyone who has difficulty sleeping.

Heart Attack in Women without Heart Disease

Heart Attack in Women without Heart Disease

Oct 20, 2011
Study explores the causes heart attacks in otherwise healthy women.

Gender Differences in Angina Symptoms

Sep 27, 2011

Angina symptoms every women should know.

How Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone Levels Affect Cardiovascular Risk

How Vitamin D and Parathyroid Hormone Levels Affect Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 20, 2011

These health markers could increase risk for heart disease.

Faster Door-to-Balloon Time Improves Heart Attack Outcomes

Faster Door-to-Balloon Time Improves Heart Attack Outcomes

Aug 22, 2011

U.S. hospitals providing faster emergency care for heart attack patients.

Discontinuation of Aspirin and Heart Attack Risk

Discontinuation of Aspirin and Heart Attack Risk

Aug 08, 2011

Discontinuing aspirin use can increase heart attack risk by 2/3 in patients who have had a heart attack or stroke.

Marital Status and Seeking Care During Heart Attack

Marital Status and Seeking Care During Heart Attack

Jul 28, 2011

Married men half as likely to delay seeking care after a heart attack than single men.

Overweight and Obesity Slows Downward Trend of Heart Attack Incidence

Overweight and Obesity Slows Downward Trend of Heart Attack Incidence

Jun 17, 2011

UK decreased heart attack risk by 74% over last 20 years.

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients with Stents

Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Patients with Stents

Jun 01, 2011

Fish oil reduces heart attack risk in stent patients.

Could Calling 9-1-1 at First Signs of Heart Attack Improve Medical Care?

Could Calling 9-1-1 at First Signs of Heart Attack Improve Medical Care?

Apr 14, 2011

Ambulances with echocardiograms provide immediate care.

Physical and Sexual Activity Triggering Acute Cardiac Events

Physical and Sexual Activity Triggering Acute Cardiac Events

Mar 30, 2011

Exercise more likely to trigger heart attack in sedentary patients.

Spirit of the Heart Community Events

Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Female Heart Attack Symptoms

Women and men may describe heart attack symptoms differently. For example, women are twice as likely to describe their chest pain with the words "discomfort," "pressing," "crushing" and "bad ache."

Male Heart Attack Symptoms

In addition to pain in the upper body, men having a heart attack may also feel like they have heartburn or indigestion, shortness of breath, or nausea and dizziness.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Basics

Cardiac rehabilitation is a combination of regular exercise, healthy eating, stress reduction, and medical therapy. In addition, those who smoke receive guidance to help them quit for good.
Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Rich in mono-unsaturated (or "good") fats, olive oil can lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and protect the inner lining of blood vessels.
Salt

Salt

The average American consumes a whopping 3,400 milligrams of salt a day, which is more than twice the amount recommended by cardiologists.

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Metabolic Syndrome

If you have three or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke, your doctor may say you have metabolic syndrome.
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The Benefits of Yoga

Studies show that yoga can lower blood pressure and help people with atrial fibrillation.

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Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, develops when arteries get clogged with plaque, reducing blood flow throughout the body.

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The 6 Steps of CPR

Learning the six important steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation could save someone's life.

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.

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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."