According to the Mayo Clinic, pain in the center of the chest can be caused by mild conditions, such as stress or indigestion, but is also a common warning sign of a heart attack. Heart attacks are caused by blocked arteries that hinder blood flow to the heart. Additional signs of a heart attack include pressure, dizziness and pain that travels up the arms and into the neck and shoulders.
WebMD explains that pain in the center of the chest can also be caused by angina, a condition in which the blood vessels in the heart become blocked following strenuous physical activity or periods of stress. Angina symptoms can mimic heart attack symptoms, so it is always best to consult with a physician to ensure a prompt and accurate diagnosis. Chest pain can also be caused by myocarditis, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed. Additional symptoms of myocarditis include breathing difficulties and fever.
According to the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, additional conditions that cause chest pain include aortic dissection and hypertropic cardiomyopathy. Aortic dissection occurs when the wall of the aorta becomes damaged or torn due to untreated high blood pressure. Additional symptoms include pain in the neck and throat. Hypertropic cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes thickened, which in turn causes the heart to exert itself when pumping blood.