If you require emergency medical attention, please call 911 to access your local emergency services.

Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of a Heart Attack


Anyone can have a heart attack, but it's most likely to strike someone with risk factors, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low levels of HDL cholesterol
  • High levels of LDL cholesterol
  • Family history of heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Excessive saturated fat in the diet

Northwestern Medicine may recommend certain lifestyle modifications, such as quitting smoking, losing weight and exercising to reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, thus lessening your risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack.