10 warning signs of a heart attack

While many think of chest pain as the only symptom of a heart attack, the truth is that heart attack symptoms vary widely. Men and women have different symptoms: men are more likely to have pain or discomfort while women's symptoms are typically more subtle.

1. Chest Pain or Discomfort

While many picture a heart attack victim clutching his or her chest in agony, many heart attack sufferers experience chest pain or discomfort that can take place for a short time, then subside.

2. Other Localized Pain

Women are more likely to experience pain not in the chest, but in the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

3. Trouble Breathing

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath are often precursors to chest pain or other pain symptoms associated with a heart attack.

4. Sweating

If a person begins sweating profusely with no temperature changes, this can be a sign that a heart attack is imminent.

5. Feelings of Heartburn or Indigestion

According to the American Heart Association, many patients delay seeking treatment for heart attack because they believe they are experiencing indigestion or heartburn. If you have pain that radiates up the oesophagus, seek emergency treatment.

6. Nausea

Often considered one of the more atypical symptoms of heart attack, intense and sudden waves of nausea can accompany a heart attack.

7. Dizziness

Dizziness or double vision is another heart attack symptom that often occurs prior to pain. You should not drive yourself to the hospital if you suspect you are having a heart attack.

8. Feelings of Weakness or Anxiety

Difficulty concentrating or feelings of weakness, particularly those that occur suddenly, are also signs of a heart attack.

9. Fluttering Heartbeat

If your heart rate feels unsteady and fluttering or the feeling that your pulse is racing can signal a heart attack.

10. Chest Fullness

Those who are experiencing a heart attack have feelings of chest fullness, as if the chest or heart is expanding.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.