How long does a heart attack last?

How long does a heart attack last?

A heart attack happens when the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart are partially or entirely clogged. When this occurs, the heart is harmed because the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and nutrients. A question always comes to our mind that how long does a heart attack last?

Several symptoms may occur depending on the severity and length of the attack. While some symptoms may appear immediately, others may develop more gradually. It may continue for a short while or several hours.

When there is a total blockage, a severe heart attack can last up to 20 minutes or longer, while a mild attack lasts a few minutes. This is in short the answer to how long does a heart attack last. Let us understand more about it.

How long would it take to recover from a heart attack? 

Following a heart attack, the heart muscle suffers some damage; the degree of that damage will determine how long it will take the patient to recover. After knowing how long does a heart attack last, let us move towards this question. People with mild heart attacks or who receive prompt treatment may feel well enough to resume regular activities. Still, recovery could take months if the attack lasts for a prolonged period without being treated or if there has been considerable damage to the heart muscle.

Are heart attacks life-threatening? 

Heart attacks can be dangerous and even fatal if not treated right away. There are symptoms and warning signals that appear before a heart attack. Knowing and comprehending these symptoms can assist you in receiving early medical care. You should check these 18 warning signs of weak heart to get an overview and work accordingly.

What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack? 

Each person experiences heart attack symptoms differently; some people experience gradual onset while others experience rapid onset. While some people may only feel a little pain, others may feel sudden, severe pain.

Get someone to transport you to the hospital if you believe you are showing any signs of a heart attack, or call an ambulance! The more quickly you receive treatment, the greater your chance of minimising the harm to your heart muscle. Along with knowing how long does a heart attack last, understanding the signs and symptoms is also important.

Here is a list of common heart attack signs and symptoms.

• breathing difficulty

• chest pressure or pain

• backache

• Nausea

• Feeling weak

• excessive tiredness

• Indigestion

• spreading pain or discomfort to the shoulders, jaws, back, or arms.

• Feeling stuffed

• feeling of compression

• heartburn

• cold sweat.

• Vomiting

• rapid or erratic heartbeat

Heart attack in women 

Chest pain or discomfort in the chest region is the most typical sign of a heart attack in both men and women. However, compared to men, women are more prone to have these additional symptoms;

• Breathing difficulties, 

• exhaustion, 

• nausea, vomiting, 

• back or jaw pain

What are the causes of a heart attack? 

Along with the topic how long does a heart attack last, let us see a few causes of heart attack. The most common reason for heart attacks is coronary artery disease (CAD). In CAD, one or more heart arteries are clogged by plaques, a cholesterol-containing deposit that can constrict the arteries and limit blood flow to the heart.

If a plaque ruptures, a blood clot may form in the heart, clog an artery, and stop blood flow to some regions of the heart muscle, ultimately resulting in a heart attack. If you think young people can’t have heart attack,

Although CAD is the leading cause of heart attack, not all heart attacks are brought on by clogged arteries.

Other causes of a heart attack include;

i. Coronary artery spasms: In this condition, the muscles in the wall of an artery that carries blood to the heart are momentarily tightened.

ii. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): This occurs when the wall of the coronary artery tears.

The causes of heart attack must be kept in mind to understand how long does a heart attack last.

What are the risk factors of a heart attack?

Your risk of having a heart attack can be influenced by your age, way of life, and family history.

Risk factors for heart attacks include:

• High blood pressure. You can also check how to use a Sphygmomanometer.

• High cholesterol

• Age: Your risk of developing a cardiac condition increases as you age.

• Obesity

• insufficient exercise

• using tobacco

• Diabetes

• illicit use of heavy drugs

• a poor diet

• history of cardiovascular disease in the family.

How long do heart attack symptoms last?

The signs of a heart attack differ from person to person. Depending on the individual, it may last a few minutes or several hours. While some people may feel continuous pain, others may have pain that comes and goes. The lasting of heart attack symptoms are directly related to how long does a heart attack last.

How to prevent a heart attack? 

Taking action to avoid a heart attack is never too late. After knowing how long does a heart attack last, let us also know how to prevent it. To avoid having a heart attack, try these tips:

Maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle:

• Adopt a healthy lifestyle that is good for your heart as well as your physical body.

• Make an effort to exercise frequently.

• If you’re smoking, quit it. Your oxygen supply becomes tainted when you smoke.

• Loose weight, and if you’re already fit, maintain it. 

• Take heart-healthy foods.

Control other medical conditions: Your heart muscles may get weaker due to other medical issues, which could ultimately result in a heart attack. Your chance of suffering a heart attack might be exacerbated by illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure. Not only knowing how long does a heart attack last is important but also knowing it’s precautions and preventions are very important.


Concluding how long does a heart attack last, it varies from person to person. Some people may experience it gradually over 20 minutes or longer, while others may experience it suddenly and for only a few minutes (and vice versa). If you have a heart attack, do not drive; instead, arrange for someone to transport you to the hospital or phone an ambulance. Recovery from a heart attack is determined by how soon you are treated and the extent of damage to your heart muscle. To strengthen your heart, live a heart-healthy lifestyle and engage in frequent exercise.


How do you know if you’ve had a heart attack? 

Most heart attacks are characterised by discomfort in the chest’s middle or left side that persists for more than a few minutes or fades and reappears. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain-like sensation, and a faint or weak feeling. Additionally, you can start to sweat heavily.

Can a heart attack last for days? 

Some heart attacks happen quickly. However, many people have symptoms and warning indications hours, days, or weeks before the event. Chest tightness or pain that persists and does not go away with rest may be a warning indication.

What is the quickest method for detecting a heart attack?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a crucial test for a suspected heart attack. After being admitted to the hospital, it must be done within ten minutes. An ECG records your heart’s electrical activity.

Can a heart attack stop on its own? 

If the blood clot obstructing blood flow dissolves or is removed and absorbed by the body, a silent heart attack may go away on its own. A silent heart attack, though, can nonetheless harm.

Can you recover from a heart attack on your own?

Untreated heart attacks might result in dangerous repercussions for the patient. It can be lethal.

Dr Sanam shakya

Dr. Sanam Shakya is a licensed MBBS doctor working as a medical officer under the emergency department in Karnali Province Hospital, Surkhet, Nepal.Dr. Shakya's interests are intensive trauma care, emergency medicine, and internal fixation surgeries. He spends a considerable amount of time inpatient''s healthcare.

Related Posts

18 Warning Signs of Weak Heart: Causes and Treatment

18 Warning Signs of Weak Heart: Causes and Treatment

11 Warning Signs of Early Heart Failure

11 Warning Signs of Early Heart Failure



What is Arteriography?

What is Arteriography?