Illustration of heart anatomy

Heart Attack

Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, resulting in damage to the heart muscle. Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a heart attack. Of the approximately 805,000 Americans who experience a heart attack each year, about 605,000 people experience a first attack.

More About This Condition

A heart attack occurs when blood flow that carries oxygen to the heart is blocked. This can happen due to a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries, which are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the heart. If blood flow is blocked for an extended period, the heart muscle can become damaged or die.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This overview is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Be sure to talk with your doctor for a complete discussion of this condition as well as the benefits and risks of any treatment options.


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