Written by Dr. Saravanan K, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Oct 15, 2019

What is a Heart Attack?

Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply.

Heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply caused due to blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries supplying the heart.

The other names for heart attack include acute myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis, and coronary occlusion.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than a million persons in the U.S. have heart attack each year and about half of them die. The risk of heart attack in both men and women is almost equal with women accounting for nearly half of all heart attack deaths.

In India, heart disease is the single largest cause of death in the country with heart attacks being responsible for one-third of all deaths caused by heart diseases. According to a projection by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India will not only be the heart attack capital but also the capital of diabetes and hypertension by 2020.

Heart attack is a life-threatening event and everyone should know the warning signs of heart attack. Most people who die of heart attack die within the first hour after the onset of the symptoms.

Hence knowing the symptoms of heart attack and seeking immediate medical attention is essential to prevent death due to heart attacks and also to lessen the amount of damage to the heart.

Measures like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and thrombolytic drugs (clot buster) when given early during the onset of heart attack can help in saving the life of the patient.

Heart attack and other heart conditions like heart failure and hypertension can cause changes or damage the heart valve resulting in a heart murmur

What is New in Heart Attack

1. Current Standards to Detect Heart Attacks may Not be Attack Proof

Cardiac troponin is a protein unique to the heart, so elevated levels in the blood indicate that the heart has been damaged. Cardiac troponin blood test, which is the current golden standard to detect heart attacks may not be able to indicate the extent of cardiac damage, finds a new study.

2. Watch Out for That Second Heart Attack

Patients who have already suffered a heart attack before could be at increased risk of developing a second one, if they are divorced or have low socio-economic status, finds a new study. Marriage appears to be protective against recurrent events and aligns with traditional indicators of higher socio-economic status, but conclusions on the underlying mechanisms cannot be drawn from this study. Divorced patients had an 18% greater risk of a recurrent event than married patients.

Latest Publications and Research on Heart Attack


doctorebaa Tuesday, October 30, 2012

wow guys you are the best

vanusaran Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nice article written in a simple manner which is easy to understand even for non medicos. Kudos to the author.

Mr.Alexander Mathew Thursday, November 20, 2008

i've been takin ecosprin 75mg,atorva 5mg,betaloc 50mg,ramprill 2.5mg for the past five and a half years.
now am suffering with severe side effects such as ear pain,head problem and losing the strength of my eyes and balancing problem.
please send me a remedy for this.

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