Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Heart attack

Heart attack
beginning of content

Causes of a heart attack

Like all other tissues and organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood. If the blood supply to the heart is suddenly interrupted, heart muscles may be damaged and begin to die.

If this is not treated, heart muscles will experience irreversible damage. If a large portion of the heart is damaged in this way, the heart will stop beating (a cardiac arrest), resulting in death.

Coronary heart disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of heart attacks. CHD is a condition in which the coronary arteries (the major blood vessels that supply the heart with blood) get clogged up with deposits of cholesterol. These deposits are called 'plaques'.

During a heart attack, one of the plaques ruptures (bursts), causing a blood clot to develop at the site of the rupture. The clot may then block the supply of blood running through the coronary arteries to the heart, triggering a heart attack.

Last reviewed: September 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 1085 results

Heart attack

A heart attack happens when there is a sudden complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart. As a result, some of your heart muscle begins to die. Without early medical treatment, this damage can be permanent.

Read more on WA Health website

Heart attack | The Heart Foundation

Get information on types of heart attack, know the difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack and learn facts about heart attack

Read more on Heart Foundation website

Heart attack - Better Health Channel

Heart attack is an emergency. If you have warning signs of heart attack, get help fast. Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Heart attack - myDr.com.au

A heart attack (myocardial infarction) means the blood supply to part of the heart muscle has become blocked. Early treatment can reduce damage to the muscle.

Read more on myDr website

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction) | myVMC

Heart attack or myocardial infarction refers to heart damaged caused by lack of blood flow which prevents the heart getting sufficient oxygen.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Symptoms of heart attack & stroke in women | Jean Hailes

Knowing the symptoms of heart attack and stroke may not only save your life it may also save the life of another. Symptoms of heart attack in women can be different to men and include pain and pressure in the chest, neck, arm, jaw, shortness of breath, di

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Heart attack symptoms and signs | The Heart Foundation

The sooner you recognise the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and get treatment, the better. Remember it's always okay to call triple zero (000).

Read more on Heart Foundation website

What happens when I get home from hospital after a heart attack?

For the first few weeks after a heart attack, it may be helpful to have someone close by to support and help you.

Read more on WA Health website

Heart attack - Lab Tests Online AU

Site map of article content

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Captopril (Terry White Chemists) | myVMC

Captopril is used in the treatment of; High blood pressure Myocardial infarction (heart attack)

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback