Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. 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.