Complications are often related to the damage done to your heart during an attack. Damage can lead to:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Electrical "short circuits" can develop, resulting in abnormal heart rhythms, some of which can be serious, even fatal.
  • Heart failure. An attack may damage so much heart tissue that the remaining heart muscle can't adequately pump blood out of your heart. Heart failure may be temporary, or it can be a chronic condition resulting from extensive and permanent damage to your heart.
  • Heart rupture. Areas of heart muscle weakened by a heart attack can rupture, leaving a hole in part of the heart. This rupture is often fatal.
  • Valve problems. Heart valves damaged during a heart attack may develop severe leakage problems.
Nov. 15, 2014