A heart attack, or acute myocardial infarction, happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is severely reduced or stopped. The loss of blood or oxygen causes damage and potential death of heart tissue. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the main cause of heart attack. A less common cause is a severe spasm of a coronary artery which also can prevent blood supply from reaching the heart.
According to the American Heart Association, about 785,000 Americans have an initial heart attack and another 470,000 have a recurrent heart attack each year.
This symbol means you are leaving the CDC.gov Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.
Copyrighted images: Images on this website which are copyrighted were used with permission of the copyright holder and are not in the public domain. CDC has licensed these images for use in the materials provided on this website, and the materials in the form presented on this website may be used without seeking further permission. Any other use of copyrighted images requires permission from the copyright holder.
Tracking Hot Topics
- Women's Health and the Environment: A Toolkit
- Factors Associated with Preterm Birth Infographic
- Is It Worth It? Video
- Download CDC's "Protect Yourself from Breast Cancer" Infographic
- Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know
- Breast Cancer Screening: The Right to Know
- Tracking Fellowship Milestone
- View our Tracking Success Stories to learn how Tracking is making a difference across the U.S.