What is Heart Attack

What exactly is Heart Attack? Our medical encyclopedia can get you started in your journey to learn more about this condition. Continue your research by clicking a new category in the left navigation.

Learn

Take Action

Heart Attack Definition


A Heart Attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is interrupted. This deprives the heart muscle of oxygen, causing tissue damage or tissue death. Other names for heart attack include coronary attack, myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis, and coronary occlusion.

Heart Attack

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Heart attack is an outcome of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease. If too much plaque (fatty material) builds up in the coronary arteries, it can decrease the blood flow to the heart. If the plaque tears, a blood clot will form that may close off or severely narrow the artery. A heart attack occurs when the clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart. Cells in the heart start to die if they are without oxygen-rich blood for more than a few minutes. Heart attack also can occur if an artery that supplies the heart starts to spasm or contract. The spasm decreases or can stop blood flow. A heart attack can result from a severe spasm.

Blood Clots in the Heart

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

More than 80 million people in the US have some form of cardiovascular disease. Every year about 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack.



Learn

Learn what Heart Attack is
What It Is
Learn the basics of this condition. Find out what you're dealing with.
Heart Attack Causes
Causes
What causes Heart Attack? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Heart Attack Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Are you at risk of getting Heart Attack? Inside you'll find known risk factors for the condition.
Heart Attack Diagnosis
Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Symptoms
What are the Heart Attack symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Heart Attack Complications
Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

Take Action

Screening for Heart Attack
Screening
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Heart Attack.
Heart Attack Medications
Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Heart Attack Prevention
Prevention
How can you prevent Heart Attack? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Heart Attack Treatment
Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Heart Attack treatment options are available?
Heart Attack Care
Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Heart Attack Doctors
Find a Doctor
Do you need to contact a doctor about Heart Attack? Select a location to find a specialist in your area.

Featured Articles


Crucial Heart-Disease Devices Benefit People of Color
By janefarrell2

Racial and ethnic minorities who get implantable devices to treat heart failure derive the same survival benefit as white patients, new research shows. But non-white patients are getting the devices Read more →
Good Neighbors May Curb Heart Attack Risk
By sforsyth

Although some studies suggest that the factors such as area violence and noise can negatively affect cardiovascular health, few studies have looked at the potential health enhancing effects of Read more →
Mayo Clinic Challenges Cholesterol Guideline
By sforsyth

A Mayo Clinic task force has challenged some recommendations in the updated guideline for cholesterol treatment that was unveiled by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Read more →

Latest Articles


Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO