​A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel inside the heart becomes clogged. This causes an interruption of blood flow to that area of the heart. If the blood flow is not restored, the heart muscle dies. The longer the heart muscle is without blood supply, the more damage occurs.
 
Warning Signs:
  • Chest discomfort – You may feel pressure, fullness or squeezing in the center of your chest. It maybe constant or it may go away and come back.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath – This feeling often comes along with chest discomfort, but it can occur before the chest discomfort.
  • Other signs – cold sweat, nausea, vomiting or lightheadedness
If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, call 9-1-1. Every minute could be the difference between life and death.
 
How to Reduce Your Risk:
  • Don't use tobacco
  • Be physically active
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Watch your weight
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
  • Have regular checkups
  • Control your cholesterol
  • Keep tabs on your blood pressure
  • Keep diabetes in check.
To learn more about heart attacks, visit the American Heart Association's website.