Approximately 750,000 Americans have heart attacks each year. Survivors often suffer permanent damage to their hearts because they do not get help immediately. Irreversible injury to the heart muscle (or death) occurs if medical help is not received promptly.
A heart attack, known as an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle. "Myo" means muscle, "cardial" refers to the heart and "infarction" means death of tissue due to lack of blood supply.
Years ago, a heart attack was often fatal. However, today, thanks to better awareness of signs and symptoms and improved treatments, the vast majority of people who have a heart attack survive. Many AMI survivors live a compromised lifestyle. However, lifestyle, diet, exercise level, and the way you handle stress play important rolls in how well you can recover from a heart attack. A healthy lifestyle can help you prevent a first or subsequent heart attack by controlling risk factors that contribute to the supply of blood flow to your heart.
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