Diagnosis and Treatment
Heart attack patients may be asked to undergo a number of diagnostic tests and procedures. By learning what these tests are and why they’re being done, you’ll feel more confident. These tests are important and help the doctor determine if a heart attack or stroke occurred and how severe it was. The tests help the doctor determine what treatment and lifestyle changes will keep you healthy and prevent serious future medical events.
To learn more about what diagnostic tests and procedures might be done for a heart attack or stroke, visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's website.
Treatment for cardiovascular disease depends on the type and severity of disease. Treatment may include:
- Lifestyle changes: Whether cardiovascular disease is mild or severe, it's likely a doctor will recommend lifestyle changes as part of the treatment. Lifestyle changes include:
- Staying physically active.
- Eating healthy foods.
- Keeping blood pressure in check.
- Visit the High Blood Pressure webpage for tips to help lower your blood pressure and locations where you can get your blood pressure checked for free.
- Controlling cholesterol.
- Keeping diabetes in check.
- Visit the Diabetes webpage to learn more.
- Managing stress.
- Visit the Medline Plus website to learn how to manage stress.
- Reducing the amount of salt and sodium in food.
- Keeping track of your numbers.
- The American Heart Association’s Heart360® tool is a convenient and secure location for you to track and manage your heart health. Record your health data with the online trackers, access additional information and resources on how to be heart healthy.
If lifestyle changes alone aren't enough, the doctor may prescribe medications to control cardiovascular disease. Medication prescribed may be used to lower blood pressure, thin blood or lower cholesterol.
Medical Procedures or Surgery
If medications aren't enough, it's possible the doctor will recommend specific procedures or surgery. For more information on possible procedures for cardiovascular disease and stroke, visit the American Heart Association’s website.
Don’t delay getting medical attention. If you are having any cardiovascular disease symptoms, call 911.