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Heart Attack Prevention
(How to Prevent a Heart Attack)

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Heart attack prevention definition and facts

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • About 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack each year – that's about one heart attack every 43 seconds!
  • 525,000 of those heart attacks are the first for the person affected, while 210,000 of them happen in people who have previously had a heart attack.
  • Symptoms of a heart attack in men and women include
    • chest discomfort and discomfort in one or both arms, neck jaw, back, or stomach,
    • shortness of breath,
    • sweating, and
    • palpitations.
  • Women experience the same symptoms of a heart attack as listed above; however in addition women may have
  • Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle such as eating a heart healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction, and disease prevention or management is the best way to prevent heart disease and heart attack.

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is significantly reduced or cut off completely. This is often a result of atherosclerosis, a process whereby the arteries narrow due to a buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, and other substances). Sometimes these plaques can break off, and blood clots can form around them. The clots in the coronary arteries then block blood flow to the heart, starving it of oxygen and nutrients (ischemia), causing damage or death to heart muscle. This damage to the heart muscle is a heart attack. Heart attack is medically termed myocardial infarction (MI).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016


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