A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted. Oxygen cannot get to the heart muscle, causing tissue damage or tissue death.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
A heart attack may be caused by:
The risk of heart attack is greater in males and older adults.
Factors that may increase your chance of developing a heart attack include:
Unusual symptoms of heart attack—may occur more frequently in women:
If you think you are having a heart attack, call for emergency medical services right away.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Your heart function may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken. This can be done with:
Within the first six hours after a heart attack, you may be given medications to break up blood clots in the coronary arteries.
If you have severe blockages you may need surgery right away or after recovery, such as:
During recovery, you may need physical or rehabilitative therapy to help you regain your strength.
Preventing or treating coronary artery disease may help prevent a heart attack.
American Heart Association
National Stroke Association
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
About heart attacks. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/AboutHeartAttacks/About-Heart-Attacks_UCM_002038_Article.jsp. Updated September 2, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI. Updated July 25, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
What is a heart attack? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartattack/. Updated December 13, 2013. Accessed September 29, 2014.
7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI: Antithrombotic Trialists' (ATT) Collaboration, Baigent C, Blackwell L, et al. Aspirin in the primary and secondary prevention of vascular disease: collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials. Lancet. 2009;373:1849-1860.
2/3/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115392/ST-elevation-myocardial-infarction-STEMI: Finkle W, Greenland S, et al. Increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction following testosterone therapy prescription in men. PLoS One. 2014;9(1).
Last reviewed September 2016 by Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC Last Updated: 9/29/2014