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

Registry Programs Improve Quality of Care and Outcomes

Nov 18, 2013
Lessons learned from the American Heart Association’s “Get With The Guidelines” program.

Sleep Apnea Hinders Recovery After Heart Attack

Nov 18, 2013
Study finds sleep-disordered breathing impairs healing after a heart attack.

Sudden Cardiac Death Rare in Women

Nov 13, 2013
Study finds that sports-related sudden cardiac death is much lower in women compared to men.

FDA Targets Trans Fat in Processed Foods

Nov 07, 2013
The FDA has issued a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils—the major dietary source of trans fat in processed food—are no longer "generally recognized as safe."

Take Our "Thanks for Quitting" Challenge

Nov 01, 2013
CardioSmart's "Thanks for Quitting" Challenge is here to help you become smoke-free on or after the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 21.

Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Patient Contest

Oct 28, 2013

Tell us how you are CardioSmart and living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip to Washington, DC.

Flu Shot Curbs Cardiovascular Risk

Oct 23, 2013
The seasonal flu shot is life-saving for patients at high risk for heart disease.

Is Surgery Safe for Stent Patients?

Oct 18, 2013
Study suggests that patients with stents should wait six months to undergo elective surgery to reduce risk of complications.

Widespread CPR Education Improves Survival Rates

Oct 18, 2013
National program in Denmark increased CPR bystander rates and tripled survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest.

Comparing Life-Saving Procedures from a Patient Perspective

Oct 18, 2013
Trial compares quality of life in diabetic patients undergoing revascularization procedures CABG and PCI.

Chronic Chest Pain Interferes with Work Ability

Oct 08, 2013
Study finds chest pain causes many patients to file for disability, regardless of a heart disease diagnosis.

Few ICD Patients Utilize New Safety Feature

Oct 04, 2013
Study finds less than half of patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are using remote patient monitoring.

Aspirin Underutilized in Angioplasty Patients

Oct 03, 2013
Despite its protective effects, many patients undergoing angioplasty don’t receive aspirin.

Popular Estrogen Therapy May Increase Cardiovascular Risk

Sep 30, 2013
Study finds that the most-prescribed estrogen therapy may increase risk for blood clots and heart attack compared to other medications.

A Healthy Heart in Your Golden Years

Sep 27, 2013
CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief JoAnne Foody writes about a few key steps that we should all take to boost heart health.

Tour de France Riders Live Longer, Study Finds

Sep 24, 2013
Elite cyclists live longer and have lower risk of death compared to average adults.

Registry Program Sheds Light on Quality of Care

Sep 23, 2013
A report on data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry highlights success stories and areas of improvement in cardiovascular care.

Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Low Among High School Athletes

Sep 23, 2013
Study urges against widespread screenings to help prevent sudden cardiac death in young athletes.

Healthy Diet Boosts Chances for Survival After Heart Attack

Sep 17, 2013
Study finds that improved eating habits add years to survivors' lives.

Heart Attack Symptoms Differ in Younger Men and Women

Sep 17, 2013
Gender differences in heart attack symptoms—especially for those under 55—highlight the importance of recognizing warning signs and seeking immediate care.

Does It Cost More to Eat Healthy?

Sep 17, 2013
Increased food costs discourage adults from adhering to blood pressure-lowering diet, according to a recent study.

Innovative Anti-Smoking Campaign a Success

Sep 11, 2013
First federally funded anti-smoking campaign helps smokers quit with tips from former smokers.

E-Cigarettes: Helping Smokers Quit?

Sep 10, 2013
Study finds e-cigarettes are more effective than patches in helping smokers kick the habit for good.
CardioSmart News

Preventive Measures May Save Heart Attack Patients

Sep 09, 2013
Performing a more extensive angioplasty could effectively treat heart attacks and help prevent future ones.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Chicago

Sep 04, 2013
Members of the American College of Cardiology's CardioSmart team will be at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 15 to share tips on heart health and the benefits of an active lifestyle.

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."