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Don’t Be Misled: Debunking 5 Myths About Heart Attacks

heart attack myths heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in North America. Every year, millions of people die from heart attacks and heart-related conditions. Despite this, there are many myths and misconceptions about heart attacks. In this article, we will debunk five of the most common myths about heart attacks!


Myth 1: Women are more likely to survive heart attacks


Truth: While the vast majority of heart attack victims survive, women are more likely than men to die after experiencing a heart attack. This difference is believed to be due to a number of factors, including gender-based differences in symptoms and medical care. The Women's Heart Foundation reports that 42 percent of women who have heart attacks pass away within one year, compared to just 24 percent of male survivors. The foundation also notes that heart attacks are twice as fatal in women under 50 as they are in men. One reason for this statistic may be that women are less likely to receive proper post-heart attack medications such as ACE inhibitors beta blockers and aspirin according to the Women's Heart Foundation. After experiencing a heart attack women should always discuss proper follow-up care with their doctors.


Myth 2: Heart attacks only happen to older people.


Truth: While it’s true that the incidence of heart attacks does increase with age, younger people are still at risk for this devastating medical condition as well. In fact, heart-related conditions kill thousands of young adults every year in North America – often due to preventable causes like lack of exercise or poor diet. According to the American Heart Association, every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack, and of those, almost 120,000 are under the age of 45. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and sadly, young adults are not immune. In fact, one in every three deaths from heart disease is in someone under the age of 65.


Myth 3: Heart attacks are always sudden and unpredictable.


Truth: While some heart attacks do happen suddenly, a large percentage of them are preceded by telltale symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath and fatigue. By paying attention to these warning signs and seeing your doctor if you’re experiencing any of them, you can reduce your risk for full-blown heart attack!


Myth 4: Active people can't get heart attacks


Truth: While it's often assumed that only sedentary people are at risk for heart attacks, the truth is that anyone can suffer from this potentially deadly condition. Even healthy, active people can get heart attacks, though they are at lower risk than those who do not live a healthy lifestyle. So even if you're healthy and active, it's important to be aware of the dangers of heart disease and take steps to protect yourself.


Myth 5: There’s nothing you can do to prevent heart attacks.


Truth: While some cases of heart disease are out of our control, there are many lifestyle changes that we can make to reduce our risk for this devastating condition. Steps such as quitting smoking, following a healthy diet and exercising more often can all help to lower the chances of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular event!



As you can see, there are many misconceptions about heart attacks – but with careful research and attention to your health habits, it is possible to greatly reduce your risk for this serious medical condition. So don’t be misled by these common myths – take steps to stay healthy today! To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, visit

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