A heart attack is similar to a stroke, but instead of blood not reaching the brain, it does not reach the heart. The most common symptoms are chest pain (or chest discomfort) and shortness of breath, but many people have “silent” heart attacks in which they feel little to none of the above. Like strokes, heart attacks are extremely serious and can be fatal. More than a million Americans have heart attacks each year; heart disease is the leading cause of death among most ethnicities in the U.S.
Healing from a nonfatal heart attack can take up to two months. Unfortunately, the heart’s ability to pump is permanently weakened by a heart attack.