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bout every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. A heart attack, also called an acute myocardial infarction, happens when the blood that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced or completely blocked. This is usually caused by buildup of fat, cholesterol, or other substances in an artery in the heart.1
Heart attack data are available on the MiTracking data portal.
Some people are at higher risk of having a heart attack. Major risk factors include:
People who are
- Adults age 65 and older
- Male gender
People who have
- History of heart disease
- Family history of heart disease
- Smoking tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Obesity and being overweight
- History of drinking too much alcohol
- Unhealthy diet
For more information, visit CDC - Know Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease.
There are actions you can take to treat or control heart disease:
- Quit smoking or cut down on the amount you smoke. Help is available to quit smoking.
- Take steps to lower blood pressure if yours is higher than normal.
- Take prescribed blood pressure and cholesterol medicine.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Be physically active.
- Aim for a healthy weight.
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Talk to your doctor about your health. Get regular check-ups.
- Check the Air Quality Index to learn when particulate matter (PM) air pollution might affect you. You can also sign up to receive air quality alerts from EnviroFlash.
- When PM levels are at unhealthy levels, spend more time inside and take it easy when you are outside.
For more information, visit American Heart Association - American Heart Association - Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Heart attack signs vary between men and women.
- Chest pain or uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck, or back
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain)
- Pain in neck, jaw, or throat
- Pain in upper abdomen or back
- Extreme fatigue
If you have these symptoms, call 911 immediately!
For more information, visit American Heart Association - Warning signs of a heart attack.
There are many types of air pollution, but particulate matter (PM) air pollution seems to be especially damaging to the heart and lungs.5 PM is made up of small particles in the air and includes dust, dirt, soot, smoke6, and little drops of liquid. Sources of PM from human activity include vehicle exhaust, power plants, industry, and outdoor wood boilers. Natural sources include windblown soil and outdoor wood and grass fires. Studies show that breathing in PM can trigger heart attacks and strokes and worsen heart failure.
For more information, visit EPA - Heart Disease, Stroke, and Outdoor Air Pollution.
MiTracking Heart Attack Indicators
- Hospitalizations for heart attacks.
MiTracking Heart Attack Data Can Tell Us
- The number of hospitalizations for heart attack among persons 35 and older.
- The crude rate of hospitalization for heart attack among persons 35 and older per 10,000 people.
- The age-adjusted rate of hospitalization for heart attack among persons 35 and older per 10,000 people.
MiTracking Heart Attack Data Cannot Tell Us
- The cause of heart attacks.
- The number of people who have had a heart attack but did not go to the hospital.
Find Out More
These hospitalization data are provided by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through a contractual agreement.
For more data information, visit:
American Heart Association (AHA)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network)
- American Heart Association. What is a heart attack? https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/particulate-matter-pm-basics. Accessed June 1, 2020.
- American Heart Association. Understand your risks to prevent a heart attack. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/understand-your-risks-to-prevent-a-heart-attack#.V6yyr01THL_. Accessed June 17, 2021.
- American Heart Association. Lifestyle changes for heart attack prevention. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/life-after-a-heart-attack/lifestyle-changes-for-heart-attack-prevention. Accessed June 1, 2020.
- EPA. Healthy heart toolkit and research: steps you can take. https://www.epa.gov/air-research/healthy-heart-toolkit-and-research-protect-your-heart. Accessed June 1, 2020.
- EPA. Health and environmental effects of Particulate Matter (PM).https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm. Accessed June 1, 2018.
- EPA. Particulate Matter (PM) Basics. https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm. Accessed June 1, 2018.