Heart Attacks Center

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart attacks typically occur slowly and rarely occur without notice.  While the degree of symptoms varies from person to person, and specific symptoms may also vary according to the individual, the more symptoms you experience are increasingly, stronger evidence of a heart attack.  General symptoms of a heart attack include the following.

Heart attack symptoms

  • angina (chest pain that become more frequent and can occur with physical exertion which is temporarily relieved by rest) 
  • cold sweat
  • fainting
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain from the chest to the arm
  • pain in the back, jaw, shoulder, and possibly the teeth
  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • shortness of breath
  • squeezing pain or pressure in the chest lasting for more than several minutes

Women heart attack symptoms
Women may or may not experience the above symptoms, but can also experience the following symptoms:

  • clammy skin
  • heartburn
  • light-headedness
  • unusual fatigue

When to seek help
Most heart attack symptoms appear in advance of the actual heart attack.  These symptoms can appear days, hours, even weeks, in advance.  If you experience symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.  Many people do not want to create a false alarm, but as a significant number of persons die within the first hour of the onset of a heart attack, this is a risk that cannot be taken.  If you cannot take an ambulance to the hospital, allow a friend to drive you.  Only drive yourself if all other alternatives are unavailable. 

Read here to learn more about what happens after a heart attack and how to diagnose a heart attack.

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