Warning signs for a heart attack include discomfort in the chest and upper body, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadness and cold sweats, according to the American Heart Association. Upper body discomfort may occur in the jaw, back, arms, neck or stomach.
Additional possible symptoms of a heart attack include anxiety or a fear of impending death, coughing or wheezing, including coughing up blood, fatigue, lack of appetite and a rapid or irregular pulse, according to WebMD. The common warning sign of chest pain typically occurs on the left side of the chest beneath the breast bone. Swelling in the feet, ankles and legs or in the abdomen may also be a warning sign of an impending heart attack. Abdominal swelling may also accompany the lack of appetite and nausea, leading to vomiting. Unusual feelings of weakness may be felt in the days and hours prior to a heart attack.
Certain warning signs of a heart attack, such as difficulty breathing, nausea and back and jaw pain, are more likely to occur in women than in men, explains the American Heart Association. The chest discomfort commonly experienced by women includes pain, a feeling of fullness, squeezing or the sensation of pressure.