Heart Attack

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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

CardioSmart News

Ranexa Helps Control Chronic Angina in Diabetic Patients

Apr 15, 2013
Patients taking the drug in combination with standard therapy had significantly fewer angina episodes than those taking just the standard treatment.

Witnessing CPR Helps Reassure Family Members, Provides Closure

Apr 15, 2013

Researchers find that family members who observed CPR on their loved ones are significantly less likely to have post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression. 

Sitting Increases Heart Disease Risk Regardless of Physical Activity

Apr 09, 2013
Activity and exercise are essential for health, but sitting for extended periods takes its toll nonetheless.
CardioSmart News

Research Sheds Light on How Long Anticoagulants Should Be Taken After Stenting

Apr 04, 2013
Patients taking clopidogrel (Plavix) for a long period don’t see any health benefits and actually have a higher risk of bleeding.

Heart Attacks Triple After Hurricane Katrina

Mar 10, 2013
Researchers say psychosocial effects of the disaster play an important role.

Despite Lifesaving Benefits, Fewer Women Than Men Get Cardiac Rehab

Mar 09, 2013
Women with coronary artery disease can improve their heart health and reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by attending cardiac rehabilitation.

Marriage Reduces Heart Attack Risk

Mar 06, 2013
A Finnish study finds that unmarried men and women were much more likely to have a heart attack than their married peers.

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Study Results?

Feb 21, 2013
According to a recent study, funding sources and conflicts of interest have no impact on the outcome of medical studies and trials.

Baby Boomers Less Healthy Than Previous Generation

Feb 19, 2013
A recent study finds baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, higher levels of disability and lower self-rated health than those born a generation prior.

Calcium Supplements May Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Feb 19, 2013
While more research is needed, new findings show how calcium supplements could affect heart health in men.

CardioSmart Partners with Hospitals for National Heart Health Screening Day

Feb 14, 2013
CardioSmart is collaborating with hospitals nationwide to offer free heart health screenings to local residents.

American College of Cardiology Spotlights Heart Health Through Fashion

Feb 05, 2013
Live stream the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and participate in other events for this national heart health awareness movement.
Spirit of the Heart

Spirit of the Heart—Helping Improve Your Community's Heart Health

Jan 29, 2013

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

Heart-Related Deaths Increase in Winter, but Not Due to Cold Weather

Nov 28, 2012

Climate is not to blame for the increase in cardiovascular deaths in winter.

Resources to Help You Compare Treatment Options

Nov 07, 2012
Guidance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in making health decisions

Shift Workers at Increased Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke

Aug 03, 2012

Studies have shown that irregular work shifts are associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.

Exercise Could Treat Depression in Heart Patients

Exercise Could Treat Depression in Heart Patients

Aug 01, 2012
Exercise has many cardiovascular benefits. This study shows exercise is also highly effective in helping you fight depression.
New Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism

New Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism

May 24, 2012
A blood clot-fighting drug can treat pulmonary embolism in an easy, safe and effective way.
Sleep Apnea Increases Cardiovascular Risk in Women

Sleep Apnea Increases Cardiovascular Risk in Women

Mar 20, 2012
Breathing interruptions during sleep increases cardiovascular risk in both men and women but can be treated in simple ways.
Can Air Pollution Trigger a Heart Attack?

Can Air Pollution Trigger a Heart Attack?

Mar 08, 2012
Air pollution may be behind more heart attacks than we think.
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.

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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Living with Atrial Fibrillation Event in San Diego

Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Indigo Ballroom A
San Diego, CA 92101
Mar 13, 2015, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

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."