The Symptoms of Heart Attack


The most important and common symptom of heart attack is sudden and crushing type of chest pain. Unfortunately, not all patients suffer from this classic symptom of heart attack. Up to one third of heart attack patient may not have chest pain at all. Diabetic patients, elderly individuals and females are most likely to have heart attack without any form of chest pain. Some patient may have heart attack with very subtle symptoms and no past history of heart disease, and they get surprised to learn about the heart attack, after the incident. This is why it is import for all of us to know the symptoms of heart attack or the way heart attack may present itself.

The symptoms of heart attack may vary from person to person. Some people will have classic form of heart attack with sudden and crushing type of chest pain, whereas some people may have only mild symptoms that is not usually attributed to heart problem and some may not have any symptom at all. It is also important to know that the second heart attack symptoms may not be similar to first heart attack, in same individual. It is important to know important features of heart attack, which are:

  • Up to one-third people with heart attack may have only mild symptoms, especially diabetic individuals.
  • Most common symptom of heart attack is chest pain or chest discomfort.
  • Heart attack may start slowly and symptoms may appear slowly.
  • Women are more likely to have atypical symptoms when they suffer from heart attack.

Most common symptoms of heart attack:

  • Chest pain or chest discomfort is one of the most common symptoms of heart attack. Chest pain commonly occurs in the left side of the chest or in the middle of the chest. The pain may be mild to moderate to very severe and crushing type. Pain may feel like squeezing type, chest fullness or pressure on chest type or it may be like indigestion or heartburn type. Chest pain/discomfort may remain for few minutes and come back again.
  • Breathlessness: shortness of breath is common symptom of heart attack. Shortness of breath may appear along with chest discomfort or it may be the only symptom of heart attack. Shortness of breath may occur at rest also.
  • Discomfort in upper body is another common and important symptom of heart attack. Pain or discomfort may occur in upper arm, shoulder, neck, upper back, in upper part of stomach or jaws.

Other important symptoms of heart attack (do not ignore them):

  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea (sick stomach) and/or vomiting
  • Unexplained tiredness or fatigue
  • Sudden dizziness or light headedness.

“Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /”.

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