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  FDA Heart Health Online --  Your Source for FDA Information about Living with Cardiovascular Disease.
Conditions and Diseases


Heart Attack

On this page:
Other Names: Coronary Attack, Coronary Occlusion, Coronary Thrombosis, Myocardial Infarction
Heart Attack Illustration
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attack pictures

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or blocked due to a narrowing in one of the coronary arteries. This usually occurs as a result of atherosclerosis. When platelets gather at the narrowing, they can form a clot that completely blocks the blood flow. If the blood supply is cut off for more than a few minutes, the muscle cells of the heart may be permanently injured or die from lack of oxygen.

Associated Conditions:
Risk Factors:
Diagnosis Diagnosis Category.
Signs and Symptoms: Signs and Symptoms in the Diagnosis Category.
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest, shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, back or abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Other symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat, having nausea and vomiting, feeling light-headed or dizzy, or losing consciousness
Diagnostic Tests: Diagnostic Tests in the Diagnosis Category.
Treatments Treatments Category
Medications: Medications in the Treatments Category.
Surgeries and Procedures: Surgeries and Procedures in the Treatments Category.
Medical Devices: Medical Devices in the Treatments Category.
Healthy Lifestyles: Lifestyle Changes in the Treatments Category.

Updated August 30, 2004

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