Squeezing pain radiating from the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes can be indicative of a heart attack, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include uncomfortable fullness or pressure in the chest and pain that spreads to the shoulders, arms, jaw or neck. Additional symptoms include sweating, shortness of breath, nausea and fainting.
When a blockage reduces the amount of oxygen that an artery carries to the heart muscle, a heart attack occurs, advises Mayo Clinic. Chest pain lasting 15 minutes or longer may indicate a heart attack.
The warning signs of a heart attack, including chest pain, may occur hours or even weeks in advance of the actual heart attack, reports Mayo Clinic. Ongoing episodes of chest pain that begin when an individual is physically active and that go away with rest are an important early warning sign of an impending heart attack. However, some people may not experience any symptoms prior to the heart attack occurring.
Not all incidences of chest pain indicate a heart attack, reports Mayo Clinic. Stress and indigestion often cause chest pain, making it difficult for individuals and even their doctors to determine if the chest pain is heart related. For this reason, experts advise seeking medical evaluation for chest pain lasting longer than a few minutes.