Reviving A Tired Heart

With a bit of encouragement, the life-giving muscle may renew itself

By Laura Beil, 11:20 AM October 6, 2011

A generation ago, the battle to survive a heart attack was usually won or lost in the emergency room. Medical advances have now enabled more patients to win that fight and go home from the hospital — but millions of them will face another threat in the years to come.

The heart has a monstrous appetite for fuel as it goes about pumping 2,500 gallons of blood a day. During a heart attack, when an artery feeding heart muscle gets choked off, the heart’s oxygen supply is interrupted. If starved...

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