In a heart attack, the heart continues beating, while in a cardiac arrest it stops beating.
Also known as an infarction, in a heart attack, the heart continues operating but the blood doesn’t reach the heart or a part thereof. That commonly happens because the arteries in charge of taking oxygenated blood to such organ are obstructed. If the episode is very strong, it can provoke an arrest, but not the contrary.
A cardiac arrest, on the other hand, is equal to a cardiac-respiratory arrest, which means that the lungs also stop functioning. In this situation, the heart beating rhythm is altered, provoking arrythmias, and then the hear beats faster or slower than it should, resulting in a cardiac arrest.
An effective attention during the first minutes from both episodes mark the difference between life and death. Controlling risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, sedentarism and bad feeding help avoiding the occurrence of this kind of cases.
Related: The recipe for a younger heart