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Symptoms of Heart attack

Symptoms of Heart attack: Introduction

Symptoms of a heart attack differ depending on the area or areas of the heart affected and individual factors. In some cases, some people may not have symptoms or symptoms may be very mild and only include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, backache and/or a feeling of indigestion.

Typically, many people who have a heart attack experience chest pain. The type of chest pain can vary greatly and may be described as a tightness, squeezing, pressure, or fullness in the chest. The chest pain may radiate to the shoulders, back, neck, jaw or arms.

Chest pain may be accompanied by extreme sweating, shortness of breath, fatigue, chills, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, paleness, or cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the lips, feet and hands. Loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest can occur.

Serious complications of heart attack include of heart failure, embolism, stroke, aneurysm of the heart, and cardiac arrhythmias. Some cardiac arrhythmias that may occur with heart attack are fatal if not immediately treated and can result in cardiac arrest and death. However, even with immediate treatment cardiac arrhythmias due to heart attack can be lethal because of the extensive injury done to the heart....more about Heart attack »

Symptoms of Heart attack

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Heart attack includes the 43 symptoms listed below:

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Heart attack: Symptom Checkers

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Heart attack: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Heart attack: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Heart attack:

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Do I have Heart attack?

Heart attack: Medical Mistakes

Heart attack: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Heart attack:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Heart attack?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Heart attack includes:

Heart attack: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Heart attack:

Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI (Excerpt)

Often, it is not easy to tell. But there are symptoms people may have. These are: an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back; discomfort in other areas of the upper body, which may be felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach; shortness of breath, which often occurs with or before chest discomfort; and other symptoms such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness. When in doubt, check it out! Call 9-1-1. Don’t wait more than a few minutes–5 at most. Call right away! (Source: excerpt from Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI)

Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI (Excerpt)

If you have any heart attack symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. Don’t wait for more than a few minutes–5 at most–to call 9-1-1. (Source: excerpt from Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI)

Heart Attack Warning Signs: NHLBI (Excerpt)

What are the signs of a heart attack? Many people think a heart attack is sudden and intense, like a "movie" heart attack, where a person clutches his or her chest and falls over.

The truth is that many heart attacks start slowly, as a mild pain or discomfort. If you feel such a symptom, you may not be sure what's wrong. Your symptoms may even come and go. Even those who have had a heart attack may not recognize their symptoms, because the next attack can have entirely different ones. (Source: excerpt from Heart Attack Warning Signs: NHLBI)

Heart Attack Warning Signs: NHLBI (Excerpt)

It's vital that everyone learn the warning signs of a heart attack. These are:

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
 

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
 

Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.
 

Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.
 

(Source: excerpt from Heart Attack Warning Signs: NHLBI)

Uncertainty Is Normal: NHLBI (Excerpt)

Expectations often don't match reality when it comes to heart attack. People expect a heart attack to happen as it does in the movies, where someone clutches his or her chest in pain and falls over. Because of this expectation, people often are not sure if they're having a heart attack. As a result, people often take a wait-and-see approach instead of seeking care at once. This even happens to people who have already had a heart attack. They may not recognize the symptoms, because their next heart attack can have entirely different symptoms. (Source: excerpt from Uncertainty Is Normal: NHLBI)

Fact Sheet Heart Disease and Stroke in Women: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack Include:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, numbness or tingling in the left arm.
  • Pain that may spread to the shoulders, neck, or arms.
  • Indigestion, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, fainting, or fatigue.

Not all of these symptoms occur before or during a heart attack, especially for women. Likewise, they can be either mild or severe and can subside and then return. Frequently, women mistake pain signaling a heart attack as indigestion. (Source: excerpt from Fact Sheet Heart Disease and Stroke in Women: NWHIC)

Heart Attack: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Although heart attack symptoms vary from person to person, a classic warning sign for women is chest pain (great pressure, heaviness, fullness, squeezing or crushing pain in the chest). Women may experience other symptoms, including sweating, nausea, indigestion, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, unexplained anxiety, palpitations, paleness, lightheadedness or fainting. Pain or discomfort may also be felt in the back, shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms. (Source: excerpt from Heart Attack: NWHIC)

Heart Attack: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Not all women and men experience heart attacks the same. Women can have the classic warning signchest painbut they also report having other symptoms such as sweating, nausea, indigestion, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting or even pain or discomfort in the back, shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms.

Women may describe pain or discomfort somewhat differently from men, and may be more likely to think they are just having indigestion. Women who experience a heart attack are also known to wait longer than men to call for help. In addition, some studies have shown that women who tell their health care provider about their heart attack symptoms are not always treated as aggressively as men with similar symptoms. Failure to recognize or believe that a heart attack is taking place is a big problem for both men and women and leads to dangerous delays in seeking treatment. (Source: excerpt from Heart Attack: NWHIC)

Heart attack as a Cause of Symptoms or Medical Conditions

When considering symptoms of Heart attack, it is also important to consider Heart attack as a possible cause of other medical conditions. The Disease Database lists the following medical conditions that Heart attack may cause:

- (Source - Diseases Database)

Heart attack as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Heart attack as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Heart attack.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Heart attack:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Heart attack. This signs and symptoms information for Heart attack has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Heart attack signs or Heart attack symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Heart attack may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Heart attack symptoms.

 

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