Study Title:

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Study Abstract

Each year, ≈1.1 million Americans experience a heart attack; ≈460 000 of them are fatal. Of those who die, almost half do so suddenly, before they can get to a hospital. Although a heart attack is a frightening event, if you learn the signs of a heart attack and what steps to take, you can save a life—perhaps even your own.

Who Is At Risk

Many people think that heart attacks are a “man’s problem,” yet heart disease is actually the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. In men, the risk for heart attack increases significantly after the age of 45. In women, heart attacks are more likely to occur in the years after menopause (usually, after the age of 50). However, younger men and women can also have heart attacks.

Besides age, factors that increase the risk for heart attack are:

A previous heart attack or procedure to open up the coronary arteries

Family history of early heart disease:

–Father or brother diagnosed before age 55

–Mother or sister diagnosed before age 65

Diabetes mellitus

High blood cholesterol

High blood pressure

Cigarette smoking


Physical inactivity

If you have one or more of these factors, see your health care provider to find out how to reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

Study Information

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Circulation. Circulation.
2001 January

Full Study