Heart Attack

Frequently Asked Questions

2. What causes a heart attack?

Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. (The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen to the heart muscle.) When blood cannot reach part of your heart, that area starves for oxygen. If the blockage continues long enough, cells in the affected area die.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common underlying cause of a heart attack. CHD, also called coronary artery disease, is the hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries caused by the buildup of plaque inside the walls of the arteries.