Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

including Heart Attack Symptoms of Women

Some heart attack signs and symptoms are sudden and intense — the classic "movie" heart attack signs. No one doubts what's happening when they see these signs and symptoms. But a heart attack usually starts slowly for both men and women, the only signs and symptoms being mild pain or discomfort. Often men and women having a heart attack aren't sure what the signs and symptoms mean and wait too long before getting help. Women with signs and symptoms of a heart attack typically wait longer, often to their detriment.

Classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack

Chest discomfort. For both men and women, the classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack usually involve discomfort in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. The pain can be stabbing or crushing, or feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or a burning pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Other heart attack signs and symptoms men and women experience include squeezing pain in the chest or left upper arm that radiates to one or both arms, the back, shoulders, neck, jaw or stomach.

Severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. This feeling often accompanies chest discomfort. But it can occur before the chest discomfort.

Other heart attack signs and symptoms that can occur without chest pain: Breaking out in a cold sweat for no apparent reason, severe indigestion, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, dizziness, weakness, extreme fatigue, fainting, heart palpitations (pounding heartbeats), or a sensation of panic with a feeling of impending doom.

Heart Attack Symptoms of Women

Some women report symptoms that are different than men report. For women, they usually involve chest pain. But, women may also experience any of the other problems described above, especially nausea, shortness of breath or pain to the arm, shoulder or neck.

Next Step — Call 911 NOW

Not all warning symptoms occur every time. Sometimes they temporarily go away. But, if you or your loved one has ANY of them, this is an emergency. Take (or give) an uncoated aspirin and call 9-1-1 NOW.

Quick action can help reduce damage and speed your loved one's recovery. Every second counts. Today, patients can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable in years past. So again, don't delay — get help right away!

— Information Source —

This information was found on the MEDLINEplus Web site. For more information, click on signs of a heart attack or heart attack signs.

MEDLINEplus is a gold mine of up-to-date, quality health care information assembled by the Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Its information is extensive, well-written, easy-to-understand, and covers virtually all diseases and medical conditions, and generic and brand name drugs. To go to MEDLINEplus, click here.

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