A heart attack is a serious concern to anyone experiencing chest pain and breathing difficulties, says Mayo Clinic. Dangerously high blood pressure and severe flu also cause chest discomfort and shortness of breath, notes WebMD.
Pressure, tightness, aching or a squeezing sensation in the chest coupled with shortness of breath are common heart attack symptoms, along with sweating, fatigue, nausea, indigestion and lightheadedness, says Mayo Clinic. Serious hypertension, or high blood pressure, also causes pain in the sternum area with breathing difficulty, says WebMD. Hypertension also causes fatigue, blurred vision, bloody urine and irregular pulse. These symptoms are cause for immediate medical attention as they can lead to heart attack or stroke. Chest pain with shortness of breath in conjunction with wheezing, confusion, blue lips or fever can signify a flu emergency that could lead to pneumonia or even cardiac problems.
Not all heart attack patients, especially women, experience chest pains with a heart attack, notes About.com. Less than 30 percent of women experience chest pain before a heart, and 43 percent never experience chest discomfort at any time during the heart attack. For at least 70 percent of women, the major symptom prior to a heart attack is fatigue.