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Common Types of Heart Attacks

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Heart attacks are severe cardiologic diseases provoked by an acute insufficiency of blood circulation to the heart muscle. And it leads to damage or cardiac muscle cell death. There are three common kinds of heart attacks:

One of the most common types is ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). It occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked by a blood clot. This major heart attack is the most serious. And it requires immediate medical attention.

Another common type of heart attack is non-ST elevation (NSTEMI). It arises when a partial blockage is in a coronary artery. However, this type is less severe than a STEMI. But it still requires prompt medical support.

And the third type is coronary spasm or unstable angina. It develops when the heart does not receive enough oxygen. This type is often a warning sign of an impending heart attack. And you should not ignore it.

About 805,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. And about 605,000 of those are a first heart attack.

In this guide, we will explore the three common types of heart attacks. We will provide a comprehensive overview of their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Types of Heart Attacks

type of heart attack

There are three common types of heart attacks:

  • STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction);
  • NSTEMI (Non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction);
  • Coronary Spasm or Unstable Angina.

Here are some reasons why it’s essential to know different kinds of heart attacks:

1. Early detection. It helps individuals:

– recognize the symptoms early;

– and seek medical attention promptly. 

It can reduce the risk of complications and even death.

2. Prevention. It can provide individuals with steps to prevent the condition from occurring. 

3. Proper diagnosis. It helps healthcare professionals:

– diagnose the condition accurately;

– and provide the appropriate treatment. 

Proper diagnosis is crucial. It helps ensure that individuals receive the best possible care.

4. Treatment options. Each type of heart attack has various treatment options. For instance, STEMI major heart attack is typically treated with medications. NSTEMI can require drugs and lifestyle changes. 

5. Awareness. It can:

– increase awareness about the condition;

– and help individuals take steps to reduce their risk. 

This includes educating themselves about the risk factors, such as:

– high blood pressure;

– high cholesterol;


– and family history of heart disease.

Let’s learn about three common types of heart attacks in more detail:

1. STEMI Heart Attacks

A STEMI (ST-segment elevation) is a common type of heart attack. This major heart attack is caused by a complete blockage of one of the major arteries. These arteries supply blood to the heart. 

This blockage prevents the heart muscle from receiving oxygen and nutrients. It can cause severe damage to the heart muscle. 

The symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Fatigue;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Sweating;
  • And pain or discomfort in the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach.

It is the most severe attack and requires immediate medical attention.

2. NSTEMI Heart Attacks

This NSTEMI heart attack, named Non-ST segment elevation, arises in partial blockage of one of the major arteries that supply blood to the heart. Unlike STEMI, NSTEMI attacks do not always show changes in the ST segment of an electrocardiogram.

The symptoms of this type are the same as in STEMI major heart attacks.

3. Coronary Spasm or Unstable Angina

Coronary spasm heart attack name is also known as unstable angina. It develops due to a sudden narrowing or spasm of the coronary arteries. 

Unlike STEMI and NSTEMI, it does not permanently damage the heart muscle. But, it requires rapid medical attention.

The symptoms of coronary spasm can include sudden chest pain or discomfort. It can feel like:

  • Pressure;
  • Squeezing;
  • Fullness;
  • Or tightness in the chest. 

The pain can also radiate to the neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. Other symptoms can be similar to STEMI and NSTEMI types. These signs can occur at rest or during physical activity. And they can go away with rest or medication.

How to Treat Different Kinds of Heart Attacks?

Treatment can include:

  • Medications;
  • Angioplasty and stenting;
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery;
  • And cardiac rehabilitation programs. 

The treatment approach for different types of attacks varies depending on:

  • The severity of the condition;
  • And the individual’s health. 

Here is a general outline of the steps involved in treating different kinds of heart attacks:

1. Recognize the symptoms. They generally include:

– chest pain or discomfort;

– shortness of breath;

– sweating;

– nausea;

– and lightheadedness.

2. Call emergency services immediately and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.

Once in the hospital, diagnostic tests will determine:

– the heart attack’s name;

– and its severity. 

These can include:

– an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG);

– blood tests;

– and imaging tests.

3. For STEMI, emergency procedures such as angioplasty or thrombolytic therapy are necessary. 

4. For NSTEMI, medication treatment can be used to:

– relieve symptoms;

– and reduce the risk of future attacks.

5. Coronary spasms or unstable angina attacks are treatable with medication.

6. After the treatment process, lifestyle changes can help prevent future heart attacks. These lifestyle changes involve:

– quitting smoking;

– eating a healthy diet;

– exercising regularly;

–  and managing stress 

7. Follow-up care with a healthcare provider is essential to:

– monitor for any complications;

– and adjust treatment as needed.

Let’s consider all methods of various types of heart attacks treatment in more detail:

1. Medications

Medication treatment plays a crucial role in:

  • Restoring blood flow to the heart muscle;
  • Preventing further damage;
  • Decreasing the workload on the heart;
  • Lowering cholesterol levels;
  • And reducing the risk of future heart attacks. 

These medications can include:

  • Aspirin;
  • Thrombolytics;
  • Antiplatelet medications;
  • Anticoagulants;
  • Beta-blockers;
  • ACE inhibitors;
  • And statins. 

It is important to note that medication treatment depends on:

  • The individual’s specific needs;
  • And health status.

They should be prescribed only by a healthcare professional.

2. Angioplasty and stenting

Angioplasty involves using a small balloon to widen a blocked or narrowed artery in the heart. This heart attack treatment name allows for improved blood flow to the heart muscle. 

A stent is a small metal mesh tube. It is usually inserted into the artery to keep it open. Stenting helps ensure the artery remains open and prevents re-blockage. 

Angioplasty and stenting can be performable as an emergency procedure during:

  • A heart attack;
  • Or as a planned procedure to prevent future attacks.  

3. Coronary artery bypass surgery 

This surgery involves using a healthy blood vessel taken from another body part. This type of heart attack treatment helps bypass the blocked or narrowed coronary artery. 

By doing so, the blood flow to the heart muscle is restored. And the risk of future attacks decreases. Coronary artery bypass surgery is usually performable under general anesthesia. And patients typically require a few days of hospitalization and several weeks of recovery. This procedure is typically recommended for:

  • Individuals with severe coronary artery disease;
  • And those who have not responded well to other treatments.

4. Cardiac rehabilitation programs 

These programs typically include different kinds of heart attack treatment:

  • Exercise training;
  • Nutritional counseling;
  • Stress management;
  • And smoking cessation support. 

The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to:

  • Help individuals recover from their heart attacks;
  • And prevent future cardiac events. 

These programs are typically conducted in a hospital or outpatient setting. They improve quality of life, reduce hospital readmissions, and increase survival rates.

heart attack

A Few Words from Lone Star Neurology Doctors

In conclusion, heart attack treatment requires:

  • Prompt medical attention;
  • And a personalized approach.

Early detection and treatment can help:

  • Reduce the risk of complications;
  • Enhance outcomes.

And recovery helps individuals recover and reduce the risk of future heart problems.

Our Lone Star Neurology doctors can assist with various types of heart attack treatment. They provide a comprehensive approach that includes:

  • Managing medications;
  • Monitoring for neurological symptoms;
  • And offering guidance for lifestyle changes to boost heart health. 

They work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure:

  • A coordinated;
  • And effective treatment plan.

Don’t let a heart attack control your life! Act fast and seek expert treatment from Lone Star Neurology doctors today!


  • What are the two most common causes of a heart attack?

The two most common causes of a heart attack are:

  1.  the buildup of cholesterol and other substances in the arteries;
  2.  and the formation of a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the heart.
  • What are the symptoms of mini heart attacks?

The symptoms of a mini heart attack, also known as a silent heart attack, can include:

  1. mild chest discomfort;
  2. fatigue;
  3. shortness of breath;
  4. nausea;
  5. and lightheadedness.
  • What is a minor heart attack called?

It is sometimes referred to as a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). It occurs when a partial blockage in a coronary artery reduces blood flow to the heart muscle.

  • How can family members and caregivers support someone with a heart attack?

They can offer emotional support and help follow their treatment plan by:

  1. reminding them to take their medications;
  2. accompanying them to medical appointments;
  3. providing help with daily activities as needed;
  4. and encouraging healthy lifestyle changes. 

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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