Belching is one of the symptoms that may accompany indigestion, a condition sometimes confused with a heart attack, the University of Chicago Medical Center explains. Symptoms of both indigestion and heart attack include chest pain; pain spreading to the arm, neck and jaw; nausea; shortness of breath; and excessive sweating. Heart attack symptoms that do not accompany indigestion include a fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fatigue, and pressure or discomfort in the chest lasting longer than several minutes.
A heart attack is the result of impaired blood flow depriving a portion of the heart of oxygen for an extended period of time, The University of Chicago Medical Center notes. Heart muscle is destroyed if it is starved of oxygen, leading to impaired heart functioning in the affected area. The bursting of plaque in an artery and the subsequent formation of a blood clot is a common cause of heart attack.
The potential risk factors for a heart attack are both genetic and acquired, the University of Chicago Medical Center states. Genetic risk factors can be managed but not eliminated, while acquired risk factors arise due to lifestyle habits and can be either managed or eliminated. Genetic risk factors include a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, previous occurrences of heart disease in the family, congenital hypertension, congenitally high levels of low-density lipoprotein blood cholesterol and congenitally low levels of high-density lipoprotein blood cholesterol. Acquired risk factors include a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, a diet with excessive saturated fats, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and high stress.