What Happens to You—and Your Heart —When You Have a Heart Attack

How quickly you seek emergency care may determine how much of your heart muscle can be saved—and whether you live or die.


The symptoms of heart attack vary greatly and can be dramatic or fairly subtle, particularly in women, older adults and people with diabetes. When symptoms are unfamiliar and seem mild, it’s human nature to wait and see whether they will go away. But if you experience symptoms that suggest a heart attack, don’t wait: Call 911 immediately.

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