Heart Attack

An acute myocardial infarction (AMI), also known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to the heart is severely reduced or completely blocked. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

According to the US CDC, from the 2020 data, the number of deaths in Louisiana from heart disease is 12,255 per 100,000 total population, ranking Louisiana fifth out of all states for heart attack. Research has identified several factors that increase the risk of a heart attack including hypertension, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level, high triglycerides, poor diet, having a family history of heart disease, and obesity.

 To reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Find ways to enjoy frequent exercise in a healthy and stress-free environment
  • Manage and keep other heath factors in control such as blood pressure (hypertension) and blood sugar (diabetes). Medication may be necessary, for these and heart health. Check with your primary care physician
  • Eat heart healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and certain dairy, proteins and oils (such as fish, seeds, nuts, avocados and legumes) in balanced amounts

Air pollution: Research suggests that there is a relationship between outdoor air pollution and increased risk of heart attack and other forms of heart disease. Short and long-term exposure to particulate pollution (or Particulate Matter) have both been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and other forms of heart disease (CDC Million Hearts, 2022). Long-term exposure to ground-level ozone may also have negative effects on heart health, as cited by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 2020). According to the Mayo Clinic, second hand smoke can increase your risk for coronary heart disease.

Heat: The American Heart Association (2022) has warned that precautions should be taken for older adults and people with high blood pressure, obesity or a history of heart disease and stroke in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F or even temperatures in the 80s with high humidity. These can cause a dangerous heat index.

Heavy Metals: New Research in the Journal of the American Heart Association is demonstrating an increased risk of heart attack from heavy metal (for example, cadmium and lead) exposure (2021).

To explore heart attack data, click here.


Tracking Heart Attacks in Louisiana

These measures were developed following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Standards for Nationally Consistent Data and Measures (NCDMs) within the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. The purpose of NCDMs is to ensure compatibility and comparability of data and measures useful for understanding the impact of our environment on our health. The Health Data Explorer contains data on the following measures for hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of heart attack among persons 35 and over:


Average Daily Number

Age-Adjusted Rate

Crude Rate



For a detailed definition of each measure, please see the Glossary of Terms.


Data Sources

LDH Bureau of Health Informatics 

United States Census Bureau


Additional Info

LDH Heart Disease and Stroke

For more information, please visit the Health Data Explorer or email us at tracking@la.gov 

CDC Heart Disease

National Heart Lung & Blood Institute – Act in Time

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – Air Pollution & Cardiovascular Disease