Be Smart About Heart Attack Symptoms
If there’s one lesson Susan Murray hopes she can share from her experience with heart disease (Read her success story), it’s this: Never ignore the symptoms.
“Listen to your body. I didn’t have chest pain or any other symptoms but shortness of breath,” she says. “I didn’t pay attention at first, but I’m glad I eventually did.”
Heart Attack and Heart Disease: Know the Symptoms
Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack or heart disease? A “movie heart attack” where you have sudden, intense chest pain can happen — but it’s not always like that. Plus, the signs are often different in men and women. Here are the most common symptoms in both:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
- Chest discomfort with dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
- Unusual digestion.
- Chest pain that comes and goes.
- Pain between the shoulder blades.
If you or someone you know notices intense symptoms, don’t take chances: call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. The faster a heart attack is treated, the more likely the outcome will be positive.
Heart Attack Symptoms That Women Often Miss
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. And yet, women are more likely to dismiss symptoms and delay getting immediate assistance. Many times, they don’t feel any chest pressure. Instead, they might feel like they have the flu or, like Susan Murray, may simply be short of breath.
Other possible warning signs in women include:
- Discomfort in the lower chest
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Pressure in the upper back
- Extreme fatigue
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Jaw pain
Learn more about heart attack and heart disease in the TriHealth.com Health Library:
Last Updated: January 15, 2013