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    Heart Attack

    Health    Heart Attack
    Also called: MI, Myocardial infarction

    Each year over a million people in the U.S. have a heart attack. About half of them die. Many people have permanent heart damage or die because they don't get help immediately. It's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 if someone is having them. Those symptoms include

    • Chest discomfort - pressure, squeezing, or pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Discomfort in the upper body - arms, shoulder, neck, back
    • Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, sweating

    These symptoms can sometimes be different in women.

    What exactly is a heart attack? Most heart attacks happen when a clot in the coronary artery blocks the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. Often this leads to an irregular heartbeat - called an arrhythmia - that causes a severe decrease in the pumping function of the heart. A blockage that is not treated within a few hours causes the affected heart muscle to die.

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    Symptoms of Heart Attack

    The following features are indicative of Heart Attack:
    • pressure, tightness, pain, squeezing or aching sensation in the chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
    • nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
    • shortness of breath
    • cold sweat
    • fatigue
    • lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
    It is possible that Heart Attack shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
    References: 1

    Common Causes of Heart Attack

    The following are the most common causes of Heart Attack:
    • atherosclerosis
    • coronary artery disease
    References: 2

    Risk Factors of Heart Attack

    The following factors may increase the likelihood of Heart Attack:
    • increasing age
    • tobacco consumption
    • high blood cholesterol
    • diabetes
    • obesity
    • stress
    • lack of physical activity
    • illegal drug use
    • history of preeclampsia

    Prevention of Heart Attack

    Yes, it may be possible to prevent Heart Attack. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
    • quit smoking
    References: 3

    Occurrence of Heart Attack.

    Degree of Occurrence

    The following are number of Heart Attack cases seen each year worldwide:
    • Very common > 10 Million cases

    Common Age Group

    Heart Attack most commonly occurs in the following age group:
    • Aged > 50 years

    Common Gender

    Heart Attack most commonly occurs in the following gender:
    • Not gender specific
    References: 4, 5

    Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Heart Attack

    The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Heart Attack:
    • Electrocardiogram: To see electrical impulses generated by heart
    • Blood tests: To test for the presence of certain enzymes
    • Chest X-ray:To check the size of heart and its blood vessels
    • Echocardiogram: Provide video images of your heart
    • Coronary catheterization: Reveals the areas of blockage
    • Exercise stress test: To measure how the heart and blood vessels respond to exertion
    • Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To diagnose heart problems
    References: 6, 7

    Doctor for Diagnosis of Heart Attack:

    Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Heart Attack:
    • Cardiologist

    Complications of Heart Attack if Untreated

    Yes, Heart Attack causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Heart Attack is left untreated:
    • abnormal heart rhythms
    • heart failure
    • heart rupture
    • heart valve problems
    References: 8

    Procedures for Treatment of Heart Attack

    The following procedures are used to treat Heart Attack:
    • Coronary angioplasty and stenting: To unblock the artery in your heart
    • Coronary artery bypass surgery: To allow blood flow to the heart to bypass the narrowed section
    References: 8

    Self-care for Heart Attack

    The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Heart Attack:
    • Avoid smoking: Helps in improve your heart's health
    • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels: Helps in reducing the chances of heart attack
    • Get regular medical checkups: Check for these conditions and help you manage them
    • Exercise regularly: Helps in improving heart muscle function after a heart attack
    • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight strains the heart and can contribute to other diseases
    • Eat a heart-healthy diet: Keeps the heart healthy
    • Manage diabetes: Keep blood sugar levels at more-desirable levels
    • Control stress: Reduce stress in your day-to-day activities
    References: 8

    Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Heart Attack

    The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Heart Attack:
    • Chiropractic therapy: Helps in the stress management during the treatment
    • Deep-breathing exercises and meditation: Helps in dealing with the stress
    References: 9

    Patient Support for Treatment of Heart Attack

    The following actions may help Heart Attack patients:
    • Deal with your emotions: Discuss your fear with your doctor, a family member or a friend may help
    • Support group: Effective in preventing or treating depression after a heart attack
    • Attend cardiac rehabilitation: Helps in lifestyle changes, emotional issues and a gradual return to your normal activities after a heart attack
    References: 8

    Time for Treatment of Heart Attack

    While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Heart Attack to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
    • More than 1 year
    References: 10

    Questions - Heart Attack

    News, Updates and Latest Articles - Heart Attack

    Latest news and updates related to Heart Attack. Subscribe to get latest posts via email or subscribe to a RSS feed.

    Hearts of newborn piglets can completely heal after heart attacks

    Wednesday, August 15, 2018 -- While pigs still cannot fly, researchers have discovered that the hearts of newborn piglets do have one remarkable ability. They can almost completely heal themselves after experimental heart attacks.

    Exercise Benefits for Myocardial Infarction Not Reduced by Traffic Pollutants

    Tuesday, August 14, 2018 -- All physical activities (sports, cycling, and gardening) except walking were associated with a significant decreased risk for myocardial infarction.

    Deficiency of GATA3-Positive Macrophages Improves Cardiac Function Following Myocardial Infarction or Pressure Overload Hypertrophy

    Monday, August 13, 2018 -- AbstractBackground Macrophages are highly plastic cells that play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Objectives This study investigated the role of GATA3-positive macrophages in modulating cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI) or in response to pressure overload hypertrophy. Methods Myeloid-specific GATA3-deficient (mGATA3KO) mice were generated, MI or pressure overload was induced, and cardiac function was determined by echocardiography. GATA3-sufficient Cre mice were used as a control. Immunohistochemical staining, flow cytometry, MILLIPLEX Mouse Cytokine/Chemokine Assay, cultured macrophages, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and western blot were used to determine the role of GATA3 in macrophages. Results GATA3-positive macrophages rapidly accumulated in the infarcted region of the myocardium after acute MI. Deficiency of GATA3-positive macrophages led to a

    Estrogen may Protect Against Depression After Heart Attack

    Friday, August 10, 2018 -- NewsEstrogen may protect against heart failure-related depression by preventing the production of inflammation-causing chemicals in the brain. Contributed Author: American Physiological SocietyTopics: Drug Discovery

    Heart Attacks Ruled Out Three Times Faster with New Blood Test

    Monday, August 06, 2018 -- In business, time may be money, but in medical emergencies, healthcare time is life and speed is king—especially when dealing with potential cardiac events. Developing improved diagnostics that can quickly discern whether a patient has had a myocardial infarction or heart attack, is imperative for physicians to move forward with the appropriate treatment course for patients that present with heart attack symptoms. Now, investigators at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center have published new data assessing a novel test that can rule out heart attacks three times faster than conventional methods. Findings from the new study  were published recently in Circulation through an article titled “ Evaluation of a Novel Rule-Out Myocardial Infarction Protocol Incorporating High-Sensitivity Troponin T


    1. Mayo Clinic Heart Attack http://www.Mayo - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    2. Mayo Clinic Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    3. Mayo Clinic Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    4. CDC Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    5. Bui AL, Horwich TB, Fonarow GC. Epidemiology and risk profile of heart failure. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2011;8(1):30-41. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    6. Mayo Clinic Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    7. Mayo Clinic Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    8. Mayo Clinic Heart attack - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    9. Rabito MJ, Kaye AD. Complementary and alternative medicine and cardiovascular disease: an evidence-based review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:672097. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    10. NIH How Is a Heart Attack Treated? - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    11. Source:

    Last updated date

    This page was last updated on 8/05/2018.
    This page provides information for Heart Attack.