Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. It is often mistakenly thought to be indigestion or heartburn.

Frequent signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body including the arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sweating or “cold sweat”
  • Fullness, indigestion or choking feeling (may feel like “heartburn”)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety
  • Rapid or irregular heart beats

Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms in Women:

A woman's risk for heart disease increases after menopause. Women often experience signs and symptoms that are different than those of men. This is due to the fact that smaller arteries may be blocked in women, whereas men often have blockages in the main arteries. Warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack for women include the following:

  • Lower chest discomfort or pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Light-headedness, fainting, sweating nausea or shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Upper abdominal pressure or discomfort
  • Back pain

Treatments are most effective when they’re administered early.  Seek emergency treatment (CALL 911) without delay if you experience these symptoms.Emergency first responders are specially trained to handle cardiac emergencies, begin treatment and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if needed.

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