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
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

4/13/2017
Early Onset Hot Flashes May Signal Higher Heart Risks

Study found link between menopausal symptoms in younger women and reduced blood vessel function

4/12/2017
Do Marathons' Road Closures Lead to More Local Deaths?

Elderly with heart problems fare worse on race days, perhaps due to delays in care, researchers say

4/12/2017
Exercisers May Have Better Shot of Surviving Heart Attack

Researchers suggest that people who work out might develop 'collateral' blood vessels in the heart

4/11/2017
Many Americans Don't Know How to Handle High Cholesterol

Survey found they know it raises heart risks, but are confused, discouraged about how to lower it

4/7/2017
Who Really Needs All Those Heart Tests?

Overtreatment may lead to excess worry and worse outcomes, report says

4/6/2017
Who Really Needs Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Meds?

Exercise and other lifestyle adjustments should be tried first, Consumer Reports advises

4/5/2017
'Yo-Yo' Dieting Does No Favors for Your Heart

Dramatic shifts in weight stress the body and other health problems are often involved, researchers explain

4/3/2017
As Weight Goes Up, So Does Death Risk

Heart disease, cancer, other illnesses start to take a toll, study says

4/3/2017
For Firefighters, Another Danger: The Heart

Exposure to high heat and physical exertion may increase risk of heart attacks, study says

3/31/2017
Sleepless Nights, Unhealthy Hearts?

Chronic wakefulness might leave its mark on cardiovascular system, study suggests

3/29/2017
Healthy Gums Tied to Longer Lives for Women

Study found link between periodontal disease and shorter lifespan, but cause-and-effect wasn't proven

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