What Are Some Warnings of a Heart Attack?

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Warning signs of a heart attack include pain in the chest, arms, neck, jaw, stomach or back; shortness of breath; and symptoms such as nausea, dizziness or a chilled sweat, notes the American Heart Association. While some heart attacks set in quickly and intensely, most start very slowly.

In both men and women, chest discomfort or pain is the most frequent symptom of a heart attack, explains the American Heart Association. However, women experience more of the other frequent symptoms, especially pain in the jaw or back; vomiting and nausea; and shortness of breath. People who are curious as to whether their symptoms signal a heart attack should act sooner than later to get medical attention, as the faster the response, the likelier the patient is to avoid mortality.

If a heart attack is suspected, call 911 or a local emergency response number, recommends the American Heart Association. Emergency response staff start treatment upon arrival, which is often much quicker than when treatment starts if a friend drives the patient to a hospital. Ambulance transportation also tends to move patients higher up the ladder of priority in an emergency room, so the best course is to call and request transportation to an emergency room to treat a heart attack.