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
3/23/2017
Exercise a Great Prescription to Help Older Hearts

Not enough doctors recommend cardiac rehab, American Heart Association says

3/23/2017
Daily Glass of Beer, Wine Might Do a Heart Good

But drinking more may be bad news for your cardiovascular system, researchers say

3/20/2017
ATMs, Coffee Shops Ideal Spots for Heart Defibrillators

Having the devices easily accessible might save the lives of more cardiac arrest victims

3/17/2017
Remote Amazon Tribe May Have Healthiest Hearts on Earth

Days spent hunting, farming and eating unprocessed foods keeps their arteries clear, researcher says

3/17/2017
New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Repatha, inclisiran lowered cholesterol levels even further, but first costs about $14,000 a year to take

3/14/2017
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Disease

Fish oil supplements may help heart attack patients survive, study finds.

3/13/2017
Fish Oil Pills May Help After Heart Attack, Specialists Say

But review does not find it can help prevent heart problems

3/13/2017
Failed Fertility Treatments, Poorer Heart Health Later?

Study found small link, but researchers not sure if treatments or underlying health problems to blame

3/9/2017
Heart Disease Kicks in Earlier for Obese People

Study found that weight did not affect life span as much as quality of life

3/9/2017
Pot Use Tied to Higher Odds for Stroke, Heart Failure

Study couldn't prove cause and effect, but experts say it's another risk factor to heed

3/9/2017
Bad Diets Tied to 400,000 U.S. Deaths in 2015

Adding healthy foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grains might help prevent premature demise, researchers suggest

3/9/2017
Impotence Meds Might Give Men's Hearts a Boost, Too

But evidence isn't strong enough to routinely recommend Viagra or Cialis after heart attack, experts say

3/9/2017
3/8/2017
Cholesterol's Impact on Heart Attack Risk May Change With Age

Study found younger patients had low levels of HDL 'good' cholesterol

3/8/2017
Depression May Hasten Death in Years After Heart Diagnosis

Mental health screening recommended over the long term, study suggests

3/3/2017
Wood Stoves May Spark Heart Trouble

Older people in cities with lots of wood-burning devices might run heart attack risk, study finds

3/1/2017
Exercise Beats Weight Loss at Helping Seniors' Hearts

Both are healthy goals, but getting active may reap even more benefit, study finds

2/21/2017
Testosterone Therapy May Have Benefits, But Risks Too

While trials show it boosts bone density and lowers anemia risk, heart risks also seen

2/17/2017
Heart, Lung Problems May Not Always Need ICU Care

Study finds no difference in death rates, but higher costs for intensive care for some patients

2/15/2017
5 Ways Women Can Cut Their Heart Attack Risk

Heart disease is leading cause of death in U.S., but many don't know they have it

2/14/2017
Heart Disease Could Cost U.S. $1 Trillion Per Year By 2035: Report

American Heart Association estimates that nearly half of Americans will have heart disease in less than 20 years

2/14/2017
Genes Tied to Belly Size Also Linked to Heart Disease

Large study found association, but did not prove cause and effect

2/14/2017
Heart Disease Affects Far More Than the Heart

Blocked arteries can restrict blood flow to the legs, feet, kidneys -- even brain, specialists say

2/13/2017
Beware Heart Attack Risk From Shoveling Snow

Canadian study finds cases rose for men after heavy snowfalls

2/8/2017
Calcium Buildup in Young Arteries May Signal Heart Attack Risk

Even small amount in 30s, 40s appears to boost the odds, study finds

2/7/2017
Too Many Americans Have High Blood Pressure, Doctors Warn

With February designated National Heart Month, now is a good time to get checked, treated

2/1/2017
Small Study Links E-Cigarettes to Potential Heart Trouble

Found users were more likely to have early indicators of disease risk

1/30/2017
ER Doctor Offers Tips for Safer Snow Shoveling

Be alert for signs of heart attack or hypothermia, and consider using a snowblower instead of a shovel

1/30/2017
Snowstorms May Bring Blizzard of Heart Troubles

Study finds higher rate of hospital admissions for heart attack, chest pain 2 days after storm

1/26/2017
U.S. Heart Failure Rates on the Rise

And heart disease remains the nation's leading killer

1/25/2017
Body Cooling Little Help to Kids When Heart Stops: Study

No difference seen in survival, brain function outcomes when compared to normal temperature control

1/24/2017
Young Thyroid Cancer Survivors May Face Long-Term Health Risks

Easing up on treatment for some may lower lifetime odds for osteoporosis, heart disease, researchers say

1/20/2017
Poverty Harder on Women's Hearts, Research Shows

Poor females 25 percent more likely to have a heart attack than male peers

1/19/2017
17 Million U.S. Adults May Have Tough-to-Spot High Blood Pressure

'Masked' hypertension doesn't show up in a doctor's office, so home monitoring is needed, researchers say

1/12/2017
'Stress Ball' in Your Brain May Be Key to Heart Risks

New brain-scan study helps pinpoint a neurological link between anxiety, cardiovascular disease

1/11/2017
High Blood Pressure Often Undiagnosed, Untreated

Half of mobile clinic patients with the condition said they didn't know they had it, study finds

1/11/2017
Blood Levels of Meat-Linked Chemical Tied to Odds of Heart Trouble

Produced when meat, eggs and dairy are digested, TMAO may trigger plaque buildup in vessels, researchers explain

1/10/2017
High Blood Pressure Increasing Worldwide

And health risks may appear even at levels once considered safe, researchers contend

1/4/2017
Many Young Adults With High Cholesterol Not on Statins as Recommended

Guidelines suggest the meds could help ward off heart trouble, but too many people are missing out, study finds

1/3/2017
Study Ties Alcohol Abuse to Increased Heart Risks

Association similar to that from high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, researchers say

12/29/2016
Debbie Reynold's Death Puts Spotlight on 'Broken Heart Syndrome'

The actress, 84, died a day after daughter Carrie Fisher passed away; doctors say stress may have contributed

12/23/2016
Women Chasing Holiday Perfection May Miss Signs of Heart Trouble

Stress can be damaging, so take time for yourself during the season, cardiologist advises

12/22/2016
Is Season the Reason Why Heart Deaths Spike at Christmas?

Increase isn't tied to cold temps, but likely due to holiday-related factors, researchers say

12/22/2016
Cardiology Still a Man's Field, Survey Finds

Women less likely to choose that specialty, and they report more discrimination than males

12/22/2016
What is a silent heart attack?

Women more at risk of "silent" heart attack than men, new study finds.

12/21/2016
High Pain Tolerance Tied to 'Silent' Heart Attack Risk

Unusual symptoms include upper back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea, cardiologist says

12/21/2016
HIV May Double Odds of Heart Attack

Study suggests that tools used to predict risk need tweaking for those with AIDS-causing virus

12/16/2016
Chemo More Damaging to Hearts of Diabetics: Study

Those with blood sugar disease showed more early warning signs of heart failure

12/14/2016
Smartphones Could Be a Boon to Heart Health Research

Study finds tracking people's activity with the devices is cheaper, more reliable that conventional methods

12/12/2016
Beta Blockers May Not Be Best Heart Drugs for Dementia Patients

In this group, use of the meds after a heart attack compromised quality of life, study finds