What Are the Major Symptoms of a Heart Attack?


Quick Answer

Major symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, pain in the jaw and breaking out in a cold sweat, as reported by the American Heart Association. Although many people experience chest discomfort or pain, women are slightly more likely to experience the other symptoms.

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What Are the Major Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
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Full Answer

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines a heart attack as a loss of blood flow to the heart muscle. The heart muscle dies if the blood flow is not restored quickly, so it is important to know when to seek medical attention.

Chest pain caused by a heart attack may last longer than a few minutes or go away and then return later. Some people experience a feeling of fullness in the chest, uncomfortable chest pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest, reports the American Heart Association. A heart attack can also cause pain in the upper back, stomach or neck.

In some cases, women do not seek help right away because their symptoms are more subtle. Experts from the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease say some women experience increased feelings of anxiety while having a heart attack. Heart flutters, pale skin and dizziness are also potential symptoms of heart attack in women. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of a heart attack should call 911 immediately, as recommended by the American Heart Association.

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