Each year heart attacks kill more than 150,000 Americans, nearly half of them women. If such a grim statistic can have a bright side, it's this: Most heart attacks today aren't fatal.
About 75% of men and 60% of women live at least one year after an attack.
While most heart attack victims are middle-aged or olderthe average age for a first attack is 66 for men and 70 for womenpeople in their 20s and 30s suffer attacks too.
Heart attacks occur roughly every 35 seconds in the United States, and most occur in the morning, a time when the platelets in the blood are especially "sticky" and prone to form clots.
At least one study, however, has found that morning isn't a prime time for heart attacks among people who regularly take aspirin, which helps keep platelets from sticking together.
Survival odds for people who have had a heart attack keep getting better thanks to advances in diagnosis, medication, and lifesaving technology.