Warning signs of a heart attack
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.
Each year, approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack,
and nearly one-third of these individuals die, many before they reach
People often dismiss heart attack warning signs, such as
chest pain, and think they have heartburn or a pulled muscle. Many people wait too long before getting
help. Recognize the early symptoms of a heart attack.
Frequent signs of a heart attack are the following:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in
the center of the chest. The discomfort lasts for more than a few
minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like
pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. This may
include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or
- Shortness of breath may occur with or before chest discomfort
- Other symptoms may include breaking out in a cold sweat,
nausea, or light-headedness
- Extreme fatigue
These symptoms may come and go until finally becoming constant and severe. Treatments are most effective when they occur in the early stages of chest pain.