Advertisement

Is a heart attack serious?

 Dr. Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD
Critical Care Medicine

A heart attack can be mild or it may be life threatening. If you experience the typical symptoms of a heart attack: tightness in chest, nausea and sweating you should seek medical attention immediately.

It is important to realize that there are atypical presentations of a heart attack that occur in women and diabetics. These symptoms may be shortness of breath or fatigue. These symptoms should also be explored with your medical providers.

A heart attack is a serious condition affecting 1.5 million people in the United States annually. Of this number, about one-third of the heart attack victims die from the attack. Seek medical treatment immediately at the first sign of symptoms to prevent heart damage. Complications following a heart attack may include a myocardial rupture, where a hole forms in the weakened heart from the stress of pumping blood. The damaged heart may not beat properly (arrhythmia), resulting in muscle beating too fast or too slow. Blood clots that pass throughout the body may result in a stroke. After a severe heart attack, the damage may be too great, leading to heart failure.

Continue Learning about Heart Attack

Sex After a Heart Attack
Sex After a Heart Attack
After your heart attack, you probably asked your doctor smart questions about eating right and working out. But there’s one topic that you may have br...
Read More
How can I help repair my heart after a heart attack?
Frankfort Regional Medical CenterFrankfort Regional Medical Center
Hearts can get stronger after a heart attack. Taking your medication and cardiac rehabilitation are ...
More Answers
6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers
6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers6 Surprising Heart Attack Triggers
Learn how the weather, road rage or the big game can spell trouble for your ticker.
Start Slideshow
Does Aspirin Therapy Help Prevent Heart Attacks in Women?
Does Aspirin Therapy Help Prevent Heart Attacks in Women?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.