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Last Edited: 6/27/2011

Heart Attack: Prevention & Treatment

How are heart attacks treated?

It’s important to know the warning signs of a heart attack. If experiencing these signs or symptoms, then call 9-1-1 immediately.  Early treatment can prevent or reduce damage to the heart muscle.

Treatments include:

  • Oxygen
  • Aspirin
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Medicines for chest pain

For more severe cases, surgery is required to provide a new route for blood flow to the heart muscle.

Other treatment may include rehabilitation and lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Changing diet
  • Increasing physical activity

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How can heart attacks be prevented?

On an individual level, heart attacks can be prevented by reducing the modifiable risk factors, such as:

  • Eating a low-fat diet
  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Increasing physical activity

Another way to prevent heart attacks is to treat related conditions, such as:

  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

On a statewide level, the CDPH’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (CHDSPP) developed a strategic plan to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke for California, in response to the passage of Assembly Bill 1220 (Berg).  The plan can be found at the CHDSPP website.


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