Heart Attack News

A heart attack, or cardiac arrest, occurs when oxygen-rich blood stops flowing into a portion of the heart. The heart becomes starved of oxygen, and the tissue of the heart begins to die off if the blood flow isn't restored.

A heart attack typically occurs as a result of worsening coronary artery disease, which restricts or blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery. It's a medical emergency and a leading killer of both men and women in the United States.

Causes of Heart Attack

Over time, coronary artery disease causes plaque to build up in the coronary arteries and obstruct the flow of blood into the heart. In some cases, the plaque can break loose and cause a clot to form, which can block the flow of blood completely. A spasm in a coronary artery can also cause blood to stop flowing to the heart. Once the blood flow stops, a heart attack is a likely result.

Warning Signs

It's important to be on the lookout for the warning signs of a heart attack because it requires emergency medical attention. These symptoms include uncomfortable pain, pressure or tightness in the chest that lasts for several minutes or goes away and comes back. The pain can also spread to the back, stomach, arms and neck. Nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, a cold sweat and shortness of breath are other warning signs of a heart attack.

Treatment

A heart attack is a medical emergency. At the hospital, doctors will react quickly with oxygen therapy, aspirin and nitroglycerin to thin the blood and reduce the workload on the heart. Typically, medications called “clot-busters,” as well as some surgical methods, are used to open up the arteries and restore the flow of blood to the heart. Other medications and treatments may also be used.

Afterward, someone who's had a heart attack can expect a strict regimen of cardiac rehabilitation both at the hospital and at home. This will often include instruction and counseling on diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

SOURCES: U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; American Heart Association

Date Posted
Article Title
8/22/2017
New Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study Contends

But drug maker, heart experts question methodology of analysis

8/17/2017
Which Heart Bypass Surgery Works Best?

Study compares 'on-' and 'off-pump' procedures

8/15/2017
Heart Risks May Rise After Cancer Diagnosis

Study found heightened odds for dangerous clots that travel throughout body

8/14/2017
'Fat But Fit' a Myth?

Extra weight linked to extra risk, even if blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol all normal

8/2/2017
Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

Country-wide comparison finds geography, age and gender affect who gets cholesterol-lowering meds

7/25/2017
More U.S. Airports Offer Hands-Only CPR Training

Kiosks that provide 5-minute sessions are now in 7 air travel hubs, heart association says

7/18/2017
More Evidence That Midlife Weight Gain Harms Your Health

Risk of diabetes, heart disease rises when waistlines widen slowly, study finds

7/18/2017
Reducing Repeat Hospitalizations Doesn't Harm Patients: Study

Obamacare guidelines may mean better follow-up after discharge, researchers suggest

7/17/2017
Not All Plant Foods Are Equal

Analysis found that only healthy fruits, vegetables and grains guarded against heart disease

7/14/2017
Timing Is Everything With Heart Attacks

These crises tend to be more frequent on certain days, seasons, study finds

7/12/2017
Fewer U.S. Dollars Spent on Cardiac Arrest Research: Study

Other causes of death claim the lion's share of funding

7/12/2017
CT Scans Might Help Gauge Heart Attack Risk

Researchers aim to identify vulnerable patients before damage becomes irreversible

7/11/2017
CPAP Mask Not a Prescription for Heart Troubles

Device helped with sleep apnea, but didn't cut deaths from cardiovascular causes, study finds

7/11/2017
Viagra Might Make for a Safer, More Effective Stent

In animal study, coating the artery-opening devices with the drug kept vessels clear longer

7/10/2017
Fatal First-Time Heart Attacks More Common in Blacks: Study

Black men are twice as likely to die, so prevention is crucial, researcher says

7/5/2017
Is Shingles Tied to Heart, Stroke Risk?

More research is needed, but doctors should warn patients, researchers say

6/28/2017
Obamacare May Have Slashed Cardiac Arrest Rate in Oregon

'Extraordinary reduction' seen among middle-aged adults after enactment of health care law

6/27/2017
Persistent Stress May Hasten Death in Heart Patients

Doctors should assess mental health at routine cardiac visits, study authors say

6/26/2017
Workers Unprepared for Heart Emergencies on the Job: Survey

Most employees are untrained in first aid and CPR and don't know where to find lifesaving equipment

6/22/2017
Heart Disease: A Price Humans Pay for Fertility?

Study finds genes that boost risk for cardiovascular trouble also up chances of having children

6/22/2017
Too Few Women, Docs Understand Dangers of Heart Disease

It kills more than all cancers combined, but study says many overlook the risk

6/22/2017
Secondhand Smoke Still Plagues Some Cancer Survivors

Study found they face health risks from continued exposure

6/22/2017
Big Gap in Cancer Deaths Between Rich, Poor Countries

Poorer nations need greater access to effective health care and prevention programs, researchers say

6/21/2017
Breast-Feeding Tied to Lower Heart, Stroke Risk for Mom

Study finds the longer a woman does it, the lower her risk drops

6/20/2017
Vaccine Curbs High Cholesterol in Mice

Cardiologists call the results 'exciting,' but stress that only research in humans can confirm the findings

6/20/2017
Cocaine, Other Drugs Detected in Carrie Fisher's System After Her Death

Actress died in December after cardiac arrest; experts say drug abuse can weaken the heart

6/19/2017
Major Heart Group Says Doctor-Patient Talks Are Key

Info needs to be tailored to patient's needs, level of understanding

6/13/2017
Cardiac Arrest? Someday, Drones May Come to Your Rescue

Like something from a science fiction movie, the machines can fly in carrying life-saving equipment

6/12/2017
Patient's Education Level May Be Key to Heart Risk

As the number of diplomas rose, odds of cardiovascular issues declined, study found

5/30/2017
Meth Addicts' Hearts May Improve If They Quit

Only those who stopped using the drug reaped cardiac benefits, researchers say

5/24/2017
Sleepless Nights Could Pose Heart Risk Dangers

Less than 6 hours a night doubled chances of dying from heart disease, stroke, study suggests

5/24/2017
Could Chocolate Guard Against an Irregular Heartbeat?

13-year study finds lower odds for atrial fibrillation in people eating moderate amounts of the treat

5/17/2017
Heart Disease the No. 1 Killer Worldwide

Low-cost, effective treatment programs are needed, researcher says

5/16/2017
Heart Attack Risk Spikes After Respiratory Infection, Study Finds

Even the common cold was linked to a 13-fold increased risk for about a week

5/16/2017
Angela Bassett Puts the Spotlight on Heart Health

Award-winning actress' mother had type 2 diabetes and died from heart issues

5/16/2017
Heart Health Might Be a Matter of Geography

U.S. counties where cardiovascular death rates are high or low sometimes sit side-by-side, study finds

5/15/2017
Does Racial Segregation Raise Blood Pressure?

Readings dropped when blacks moved to more integrated neighborhoods, U.S. study says

5/15/2017
'Fight or Flight' Response Greater in Combat Vets With PTSD: Study

This heightened stress could increase their risk for heart disease, researchers say

5/9/2017
Energy Drinks May Make Rare Heart Condition More Dangerous

Those with long QT syndrome had spikes in blood pressure, heart muscle recharged more slowly, study found

5/4/2017
Heart and Lifestyle Changes

Many adults underestimate their risk of heart attack, study finds.

5/3/2017
Too Many People Still Ignore Heart Attack Risks: Study

Stenting is easy; changing patient behaviors is hard, cardiologist says

5/2/2017
Busiest Docs Get Best Results With Heart Valve Surgery

Patients more likely to receive repair than replacement from the most experienced surgeons, study finds

5/1/2017
Healthy Heart in Middle Age Delivers Big Dividends

Study found it was linked to longer, disease-free life

4/25/2017
Blood Test May Gauge Death Risk After Surgery

Scientists must determine how to save lives using that potential insight, cardiac experts say

4/24/2017
Exercise Benefits Aging Hearts, Even Those of the Obese

Physical activity helps ward off heart damage in middle age and beyond, study finds

4/20/2017
When Oxygen Runs Low, the Naked Mole-Rat Finds a Way

These unique mammals may teach humans tricks to lessen effects of stroke, heart attack, scientists say

4/19/2017
Many Heart Attack Patients Fail to Stick With Statins

Greater education is needed on the lifesaving benefits of 'high-intensity' treatment, researchers say

4/19/2017
4 in 10 Americans Still Breathe Dirty Air

This can lead to health problems that include lung cancer, asthma, heart damage, lung association says

4/18/2017
Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Doctors, patients often confused by differing advisories on the cholesterol-lowering drugs

4/13/2017
Kidney Disease a Big Contributor to Heart-Related Deaths: Study

Finding points to need for screening for kidney function