Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Select An Article

Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest in Men

Font Size

Heart attack and cardiac arrest can kill you or impact your quality of life. Here's what men need to know about preventing heart attacks and cardiac arrest.

Why should I care about heart attacks and cardiac arrest?

You might assume that a heart attack or cardiac arrest is something you only need to worry about when you're older. But sad to say, heart problems are all too common in younger men. After accidents (such as car crashes), heart disease is the most common killer of men between the ages of 35 and 44. In men 45 to 54 years old, it's No. 1.

In fact, you're never too young to start thinking about this stuff. The American Heart Association now recommends that people start heart disease prevention at the age of 20.

In the long run, the odds are about one in three that you will die of cardiovascular disease. So why not try to put it off as long as possible -- or prevent it altogether?

What are heart attacks and cardiac arrest?

You've heard the terms a million times. But do you know the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?

The cause of a heart attack (or myocardial infarction) is pretty easy to understand. It's essentially a plumbing problem. The heart is a pump that circulates the blood throughout your body. But like all pumps, it needs an energy supply to work -- in this case, a flow of blood with oxygen and nutrients.

Sometimes the arteries that feed the heart -- called the coronary arteries -- get clogged with a combination of fats, clotted blood, and other nasty stuff. If a blood clot suddenly blocks a clogged artery, the heart stops getting the fuel it needs, the cells start starving and dying, and the pump can stop working.

Cardiac arrest is different. While a heart attack is a plumbing problem, cardiac arrest is electrical. Your heart is triggered to beat with regular electrical impulses. But if these electrical impulses become erratic -- causing an irregular heartbeat called an arrhythmia -- the pump may not work. When you see heroic TV doctors shouting "Clear!" and shocking a flat-lining patient with paddles, they're dealing with cardiac arrest. They're trying to electrically jolt the heart back into the correct rhythm. When it's fatal, cardiac arrest is known as "sudden cardiac death."

While they're different problems, a heart attack can sometimes lead to cardiac arrest.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed