health care  
All about heart attack symptoms of heart attack heart attack symptoms in woman warning signs of heart attack causes of heart attack complications of heart attacks risk factors for heart attack diagnosis of heart attack heart attack treatment heart attack medications aspirin and heart attacks surgeries for heart attacks survive a heart attack heart attack prevention heart attack recovery

How to recover after a heart attack?

Following discharge from the hospital, patients continue their recovery at home. It is not unusual for your physician to prescribe medications that you will need to take on a daily basis. These medications will vary, depending on the extent of heart disease and other existing medical conditions. Most people will be placed on a daily aspirin, a beta-blocker and a cholesterol-lowering statin. It is important to take the medication as directed and to report any unusual side effects to your


Activity may be restricted initially. Before you leave the hospital your physician will discuss limitations regarding employment and sexual activity. Your treatment plan may include modifications to your diet and exercise routine. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to reduce your risk. Evidence suggests that people with coronary artery disease who stop smoking rapidly reduce their risk of recurrent heart attack or death. Check with your doctor about using nicotine replacement therapy. Studies show it is safe for people with stable coronary artery disease who want to quit smoking.Taking an aspirin every day (check with your doctor first to make sure you have no medical reasons for not taking it) or another clot-preventing medication, such as clopidogrel, if you cannot take aspirin for some reason. Lowering your cholesterol by taking medications such as statins or other lipid-lowering medications. Several studies have shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk for another heart attack. See the guidelines established by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) and the American Heart Association to determine when to begin treatment with medication to lower cholesterol. Controlling your blood pressure by taking medications as directed by your health professional. Some nutrients in the diet can affect blood pressure. See nutrition for hypertension (including the DASH diet) for more information about this eating plan, which has been proven to lower blood pressure. Some evidence suggests that stress management may decrease rates of heart attack or death in people with coronary artery disease. Participating in a cardiac rehab program. Studies have found that cardiac rehabilitation improved coronary risk factors and reduces the risk of another heart attack in people who have had a heart attack. Moderate wine drinking (1 to 2 glasses a day), which may decrease the risk of complications after a heart attack. In a recent, large study of middle-aged men who had heart attacks, moderate wine drinking was associated with a significant reduction of complications over a 4-year period. Exercise improves the heart's ability to work and may help lower the risk of a second heart attack. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about starting a supervised exercise program.

It is very normal to be overly emotional after a heart attack or any health crisis. Feelings of depression, anger, and fear are quite common; family members are likely to experience these feelings as well. This is generally a part of the healing process and will resolve with time. It is important to be able to talk about your feelings and discuss your heart attack and recovery. See your Cardiac Rehabilitation specialist for information on support groups or counseling.

Resuming sexual activity is an important part of getting your life back to normal, but it can also cause fear and anxiety for you and your partner. The most common fear is that sex will be too strenuous and cause another heart attack. Generally, having sexual intercourse with your spouse or regular partner is no more strenuous than briskly walking a half mile or climbing two flights of stairs. If performing these activities leads to angina, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue, see your doctor before resuming sexual activity. The best thing you and your partner can do is to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings. It is also wise to avoid strenuous positions, and wait at least a half hour after eating. Certain heart medications, in addition to anxiety, can interfere with sexual arousal and performance. Speak with your doctor or Cardiac Rehabilitation staff member if you have any questions or concerns.

More information on heart attack (myocardial infarction)

What's a heart attack (myocardial infarction)? - A heart attack (myocardial infarction) is the death of heart muscle from the sudden blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot.
What're the signs and symptoms of a heart attack? - Symptoms of a heart attack include pain and pressure in the chest, which often spread to the shoulder, arm, and neck.
What're the women's heart attack symptoms? - A woman's heart attack has more varied symptoms than a man's. Women are more likely to have nausea and pain high in the abdomen.
What're the warning signs of a heart attack? - Warning signs of a heart attack include uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest, cold sweat or paleness.
What causes a heart attack? - Heart attack is caused by a lack of blood supply to the heart for an extended time period. The most common cause of heart attack is atherosclerosis.
What're the complications of a heart attack? - Complications of a heart attack include ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, arrhythmias, heart failure.
What're the risk factors for heart attack? - Heart attack risk factors can be devided into two groups: Inherited (or genetic) risk factors and acquired risk factors.
How is a heart attack diagnosed? - The most important factor in diagnosing and treating a heart attack is prompt medical attention. For a complete diagnosis, the medical history is vital.
What're the treatments for heart attack? - The goal of treatment for heart attack is to quickly open the blocked artery and restore blood flow to the heart muscle, a process called reperfusion.
What drugs are used to cure heart attack? - Medications used to treat heart attacks include blood vessel dilators, clot busters, beta blockers, antiarrhythmic drugs, pain relievers.
What surgeries treat heart attacks? - Surgeries to treat heart attacks include coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery, transmyocardial revascularization, and atherectomy.
Aspirin and heart attacks - Aspirin is taken daily following a heart attack to reduce the risk of another heart attack. Aspirin reduces heart attacks and improve survival in the patients.
How to survive a heart attack? - In wilderness first aid, a possible heart attack justifies medical evacuation by the fastest available means. Heart attacks are survivable.
How to prevent a heart attack? - Heart attack can be prevented with a healthy liestyle. Daily aspirin therapy or other medical treatment help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
How to recover after a heart attack? - Following discharge from the hospital, patients continue their recovery at home. Lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk for another heart attack.
Heart & cardiovascular disorders Mainpage

Topics in heart disease and cardiovascular disorders

Coronary circulation disorders
Myocardium disorders
Heart valve disorders
Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
Heart inflammation and infection
Congenital heart disease
Valvular disease (blood vessels disorders)
Procedures done for coronary artery disease
Devices used in cardiology
Diagnostic tests and procedures for heart diseases
Heart transplant

Featured articles on heart disease and cardiovascular disorders

Coronary artery disease
Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
Cardiac arrhythmia
Heart valve replacement
Congestive heart failure
Aortic aneurysm
Atrial fibrillation

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005