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Heart Attack

Also called: MI, Myocardial infarction

Summary

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

Start Here

  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) - PDF Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in

Symptoms

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • Heart Health Tests: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (American Heart Association)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • Heart Diseases--Prevention: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • Easy-to-Read (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

Related Issues

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Specifics

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Heart Association)

Statistics and Research

  • (American Heart Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Texas Heart Institute) Also in
  • (Texas Heart Institute) Also in
  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Find an Expert

  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Women

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • (Women's Heart Foundation) Also in

Seniors

  • (American Geriatrics Society)

Patient Handouts

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